Cheers as Thropton wind turbine bid is kicked out

The proposal at Thropton faced opposition from residents, parish councils, bosses at nearby Northumberland National Park and the Campaign to Protect Rural England

Wind turbines in the Northumberland countryside
Wind turbines in the Northumberland countryside

A bid to site a wind turbine in the Northumberland countryside has been kicked out amid more than 100 objections.

The proposal at Thropton faced opposition from residents, parish councils, bosses at nearby Northumberland National Park and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Northumberland County Council officers nevertheless recommended it be approved. However, councillors voted unanimously to reject it.

The decision was last night described as a “victory for common sense”.

The proposal from York-based Ogden Renewable Energy was for an engine 50 metre to hub height, 78 metres to tip, on land associated with Follions Farm, Weststeads.

It yielded objections in 107 letters from residents and four parish councils – Harbottle; Glanton; Whittingham, Callaly and Alnham; and Netherton with Biddlestone.

Northumberland National Park Authority and the CPRE also lodged opposition.

A Facebook page and website were also set up by concerned residents under the banner Fight Follions Wind Farm.

Objections were based on impact on the character of the local and wider landscape, on the visual amenity of the area, and on the effect the turbines would have on the local economy, including tourism.

Yet county council planning officers recommended the scheme be approved, saying the potential impacts on the landscape and visual amenity were not “considered to be of such significance to outweigh the wider benefits of the proposed wind turbine in terms of renewable energy provision”.

At a meeting of the authority’s planning and environment and public rights of way committee, members voted unanimously against that advice, citing impact on the landscape. Residents, who had packed the council chamber, burst into applause after the decision was taken.

The committee had been addressed on their behalf by Tim Steinlet, who runs Burnfoot Holiday Cottages at Netherton.

He had told the committee that the turbine would harm tourism in the area by causing people to stay away or not return.

After the meeting, he said: “It is a victory for common sense.”

The applicant’s agent, Magnus Galley, had told the committee the turbine would contribute to renewable energy generation, would be well away from any properties or settlements and was outside any nationally-designated areas.

Faye Scott, a fellow agent to the applicants, declined to comment yesterday.

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