1,000 sign Northumberland pensioner's anti-wind farm petition

One thousand people have signed a pensioner's petition calling for a halt to wind farm development at Berwick

A wind farm with many wind turbines
A wind farm with many wind turbines

More than 1,000 people have backed a pensioner’s campaign calling for a halt to wind farm development in part of Northumberland.

Seventy-four-year-old Joan Gray, who lives near Berwick, set up a petition calling on Northumberland County Council to allow no more turbines in the town and surrounding area.

Mrs Gray was prompted to act having become alarmed at the impact of the generators on the county’s landscape and amid her fears for tourism.

Her petition has attracted 1,000 signatures, including that of a would-be MP for the area.

The county council last night said its policies on wind farm development are currently being reviewed.

Mrs Gray, of Middle Ord, is part of the Tweedside Action Group, which is fighting two turbine schemes at Tweedmouth.

Having witnessed the appearance of massive turbines at Wandylaw and Middlemoor, north of Alnwick, she decided to set up the petition in February.

It calls on the county council to review its policy to allow no more wind turbines to be erected in the Berwick area.

Mrs Gray handed 1,000 signatures, including that of Anne-Marie Treveylan, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Berwick, in to the council.

She said: “I feel passionate about our beautiful Northumberland countryside and could weep when witnessing the sheer pillaging of such glorious landscapes.

“Wind farms are one of the most inefficient sources of alternative energy, but also the most lucrative for the companies who erect them, thanks largely to the incentives on offer.

“We, the inhabitants, really care and it is not only from an aesthetic point of view. This destruction has real economic implications for an area heavily dependent on the tourism industry.

“I’m optimistic that our petition will be acted upon, as I am encouraged to believe that people can come together to influence planning decisions and that we should have more power over what happens in our neighbourhood.

“I hope that these factors will be taken into account in reviewing the council’s policy on granting planning permission for wind turbines.”

Mrs Treveylan, who has previously criticised the extent of wind farm development in the county, is also campaigning alongside rural MPs to get the Government to reduce or scrap the subsidy on wind farms.

She said: “I have campaigned tirelessly against inappropriately sited onshore industrial wind factories, which are damaging our unique landscape and our tourism offer.

“If these wind turbines are viable in the long term to help the renewables revolution, then businesses should be willing to commit their own capital investment.

“If organisations are simply building these turbines because of the Government’s subsidy, it offers them a money-making opportunity regardless of the real value of them to the energy debate.

“Therefore, the subsidy should definitely be scrapped.”

Last night a county council spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that we have received the petition.

“The council’s renewable energy policies are being reviewed through the emerging core strategy and we are working closely with stakeholders on this.”

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