Plan for two wind turbines close to Hadrian’s Wall look set to be given the green light, despite opposition based on their proximity to the World Heritage Site.
A farmer at Bardon Mill in Northumberland is seeking planning permission for two turbines up to 21.6m high at a site 1.3km from the Hadrian’s Wall Heritage site.
The proposal is facing opposition from the local parish council and 27 residents, with concerns voiced over the proximity of the proposed site to the Roman Wall.
Yet Northumberland County Council officers are recommending the application be approved at a meeting tomorrow night.
The application has been submitted by Robert Charlton of Brown Rigg Farm and seeks permission for 10kw turbines on agricultural land North of the property, within open countryside.
The turbines would be mounted on 15m high tubular steel towers, with a blade diameter of 13.2m, an overall maximum height of 21.6m.
They are proposed to generate electricity for the farm.
The application follows withdrawal of an initial proposal following an objection from the council’s ecologist due to proximity to a site possibly used by bats, with the turbines now proposed to be further away.
However, Henshaw Parish Council has objected, along with the 27 residents.
The parish council has questioned the necessity for two turbines, claiming the number makes the scheme a commercial venture.
Residents argue the turbines would have an adverse impact on the landscape character and visual amenity of the area, would have a detrimental impact on residential amenity through noise disturbance and that they may result in shadow flicker.
They have also cited the proximity of the site to the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and Northumberland National Park, potential impact on local wildlife and ecology and claimed the turbines would result in industrialisation of the landscape.
Opposition is also based on the scheme setting a precedent for turbine developments in the area, impact on tourism and the need for the development.
Objector Lynn Carr, from Haltwhistle, said: “The World Heritage Site is a very valuable asset for the county.
“Many businesses benefit from the trade tourists bring to the area and so that industry has to be considered more important than the renewable energy concerns.
“The position of the proposed installation is close enough to the World Heritage Site to have an effect on the tourist trade and ultimately on the local economy.
“If permission is granted for this application, I am concerned that more turbines will appear in our beautiful countryside.”
A report to the county council’s planning and environment and rights of way committee tomorrow night says the site is 1.3km from Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site, and 350m from the Landscape Setting of the World Heritage Site.
It says: “Due to the distance between the proposed turbines and the Hadrian’s Wall, and the existing landform, the proposed development would not be particularly visible from, or in conjunction with, the World Heritage Site.
“Following consultation, English Heritage has confirmed that the proposal would not harm the ability to appreciate and understand Roman military planning and land use.
“It is therefore considered that the proposed turbines would not adversely impact upon the setting of the World Heritage Site, nor would it directly impact on any its archaeological remains.”
Officers are recommending approval.
Mr Charlton’s agent Brian Newman declined to comment.