Northumberland wind turbines plan set to be rejected

Northumberland County Council planning officers look set to reject plans to site wind turbines at the former RAF airfield at Tranwell Woods

Simon Hobson Campaigners against plans for a wind farm at Tranwell Woods
Campaigners against plans for a wind farm at Tranwell Woods

Proposals to site massive wind turbines in Northumberland countryside look set to be thrown out.

Developer Wind Ventures’ bid for four structures – each 126m (413ft) tall – at the former RAF airfield at Tranwell Woods, near Morpeth, are being recommended for refusal by Northumberland County Council planning officers.

The advice comes amid over 360 letters of objection from local residents, four parish or town councils, Newcastle International Airport and the Ministry of Defence.

It was last night welcomed by locals, who claimed the wind farm would be “an industrial unit in the wrong place”.

The application faces opposition from 362 residents, Whalton, Mitford and Stannington parish councils and Morpeth Town Council.

Concerns include the principle of the development, the potential for precedent, impact on the openness of the area’s landscape character, cumulative impact, landscape visual impact, and residential amenity noise.

The airport and MoD have also lodged objections, with the former based on aviation safety grounds and the latter claiming the turbines would “be detectable by, and will cause unacceptable interference to” the air defence radar at RAF Brizlee Wood.

And 18 letters of support have been submitted, citing the need for renewable energy and claiming the development can be accommodated into the landscape character without adverse impacts.

The council’s planning and environment and public rights of way committee is being recommended to refuse on Tuesday.

Officers cite five grounds, including impacts on the openness and visual amenity of the green belt extension to the north, west and southwest of Morpeth and potential impact on the MoD radar.

Last night, Karen Carins, chairman of the Stannington council and vice chairman of the Tranwell Windfarm Action Group, said: “We are very pleased.

“We have obviously had a lot of support against this.

“As far as we are concerned it was the right decision because it was an industrial unit in the wrong place.

“We just hope the councillors take notice and that they will also come to the same decision.”

Andrew Butler from Wind Ventures could not be contacted for comment.

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