Council u-turn on turbine bid close to the Duddo stone circle

Northumberland County Council had had a change of heart on plans for two wind turbines close to the Duddo stone circle

The Duddo stone circle in Northumberland
The Duddo stone circle in Northumberland

Council officers have done a U-turn on plans for wind turbines close to Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge.

Planning officers at Northumberland County Council had recommended approval of proposals for two generators close to the 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle near Berwick.

Now, however, councillors are being urged to throw out the plans - on the back of a recent decision to allow another turbine to be erected in the area.

The application is for generators with a tip height of 34.5m on land north of Felkington Farm, at Norham, home of Cameron Martin. It has been submitted by wind firm Fine Energy.

Seven residents objected claiming the proposal would have a significant adverse visual impact on the stones, 1.8km away, and that the turbines have not been sited so as to minimise any impact on the Neolithic period scheduled ancient monument.

Yet council planning officers recommended approval, arguing the generators “would not cause ‘substantial harm’ to the setting and significance” of the stones.

However, the application was instead deferred when it emerged an objection from Duddo Parish Council had not been reported to councillors.

Since the deferral, a planning inspector has allowed another turbine to be erected in the area, at Shoreswood.

The Felkington application is going to a meeting of a planning committee next week, with two additional letters of objection having been received, and councillors now being advised to refuse.

The officer’s report says: “The proposed turbines in conjunction with the recently approved Shoreswood wind turbine will cause substantial harm to the setting of the Duddo Stones Scheduled Ancient Monument.”

Last night, Duddo parish councillor Don Brownlow said: “We welcome their change of recommendation.”

The circle is made up of five large blocks of stone. The reasons for its creation are shrouded in mystery.

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