VILLAGERS in the Tyne Valley have vowed to take their fight against a wind turbine to an appeal if their pleas are ignored.
Northumberland County Council this month said it was likely to grant itself conditional permission to place a 15.3-metre turbine on farmland it owns at Haydon Bridge.
But locals who launched a protest petition say they have not been given adequate opportunity to present their case against the six-kilowatt turbine at Waite Farm.
Tenant farmer Peter Telfer, who has worked at the farm for 18 years, has joined the protests, fearing the new turbine will upset his 80 cattle and 300 sheep.
John and Julie Nattrass, of High Meadows, North Bank in Haydon Bridge, have led the protests, but say they were not told of the planning and environment committee meeting in Morpeth on August 2 which gave the provisional go-ahead.
Mrs Nattrass said yesterday: “The council has jumped the gun and annoyed everybody. The public consultation period lasted until August 19 but they effectively took a decision on August 2.
“We had 140-odd names on a petition which went in around the 10th and we have had further objections since.
“They are all being logged with the council – but we think it has been dealt with underhandedly, going ahead before the deadline. We didn’t even know the August 2 meeting was on, or we would have gone to speak and give our opinion.”
The council wants to site the turbine at Waite Farm to feed green energy to nearby Haydon Bridge High School’s zero-carbon learning centre.
Mr Telfer, who has signed the protest petition, says the siting of the turbine 100 metres from his cattle shed could seriously affect the welfare of the animals.
Mrs Nattrass added: “We specifically moved to this place for the view and the surroundings, we have worked hard for it, and the council should not just come along and take that from us.
“They are riding roughshod over people, and especially Mr Telfer, who is highly respected around here. Some people have objected for his sake.
“A single turbine will not generate much power anyway, and we fear that in time to come they will apply for more wind turbines in the area. Then we will see the entire valley become a wind farm.
“We are not going to give up the fight. We will continue to register objections with the council.
“And we will definitely, definitely appeal if it needs that. We will take it all the way – we are not going to let them walk all over us.”
A Northumberland County Council spokeswoman said last night: “The committee said it was ‘minded to approve’ the application on August 2, and any new issues raised could be referred to a subsequent committee.
“The intention is to report it back to the committee, and this will happen.
“People will now receive a letter which will tell them about the planning and environment committee meeting at Morpeth on September 6, and how to go about speaking at that meeting.”