Netherwitton wind farm decision deferred after refusal of nearby scheme

A decision on plans for a wind farm near Netherwitton has been deferred following refusal of another scheme nearby

Blimps flown above Rayburn Lakes by RES
Blimps flown above Rayburn Lakes by RES

A decision on plans for a wind farm in the Northumberland countryside has been deferred following the government’s refusal of another turbine scheme nearby.

Northumberland County Councillors were to consider renewable energy firm RES’s bid for five 127.5m generators on private land between Netherwitton and Wingates at a meeting on Tuesday night, and were being recommended to refuse it.

However, the application was pulled from the agenda following minister Eric Pickles’ decision to reject a bid for another five turbines around five miles away from the RES site at Fenrother, to allow all parties to consider the implications of that refusal on the company’s scheme.

The RES application faces 159 objections from residents and opposition from Longhorsley, Rothley with Hollinghill and Nunnykirk parish councils.

The Ministry of Defence, Newcastle International Airport and National Air Traffic Services have also objected on aviation grounds while Northumberland National Park Authority and the British Horse Society are also opposed.

Blimps flown above Rayburn Lakes by RES in response to calls from English Heritage over concerns about the impact of wind turbines on Netherton Hall
Blimps flown above Rayburn Lakes by RES in response to calls from English Heritage over concerns about the impact of wind turbines on Netherton Hall
 

There have been two letters of support and three general comments.

The council’s planning and environment committee was being recommended to refuse on Tuesday night.

But the application was withdrawn from the agenda on the back of Mr Pickles’ decision last Thursday to refuse an appeal by Energiekontor UK Ltd relating to its bid for five 126m turbines at Fenrother.

The decision was taken to allow all parties to consider the implications of the refusal on the RES scheme.

A council spokeswoman confirmed: “Following the recent decision by the secretary of state on the Fenrother wind farm planning appeal, the council and the applicant for Netherwitton have agreed that it is necessary to examine that decision as it has implications in respect of the consideration of the current application.

“Following this, the application will be reported to a future meeting of the planning committee.”

A spokeswoman for RES said: “It was a planning officer who rather late in the day said, ‘this is the situation, do you still want to to be included or do you want to defer it?’ Deferring it seems to be sensible.”

John Thompson, of the Wingates not Wind Farms action group, said the officer’s report on the RES scheme listed cumulative impact with the Fenrother project as a reason for refusal, with this no longer an arguable point following the minister’s decision.

He said it made sense to write a new report.

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