Turbine bid near Duddo stone circle facing opposition

Proposals have been lodged for two engines near 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle, a scheduled ancient monument near Berwick in Northumberland

4,000 year-old Duddo stone circle near Berwick
4,000 year-old Duddo stone circle near Berwick

Plans to site wind turbines close to the North East’s answer to Stonehenge are facing opposition.

Proposals have been lodged for two engines near 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle, a scheduled ancient monument near Berwick in Northumberland.

But a band of residents and Duddo Parish Council have objected to the plans.

Northumberland County Council is nevertheless recommending the application be approved at a meeting next week.

The application for engines with a tip height of 34.5m is for land north of Felkington Farm, at Norham, home of Cameron Martin.

It has been submitted by wind firm Fine Energy.

Seven residents and the parish council claim the proposal will have a significant adverse visual impact on the stones and that the turbines have not been sited so as to minimise any impact on the ancient monument.

The site is made up of five large blocks of stone, created in the Neolithic period next to the hamlet of Duddo. The reasons for its creation are shrouded in mystery.

A 19th Century dig revealed the base of two additional stones, which it is believed were removed in the mid 1800s.

The circle, also known as The Women or the Singing Stones, stands on a small knoll overlooking the Tweed basin.

A previous application for seven turbines at Toft Hill was refused because of the impact on the stones while plans for one engine at Shoreswood were thrown out for the same reason and are currently subject of an appeal.

The Felkington site is 1.8km from the stones and council papers acknowledge the turbines will be visible from the ancient monument.

Last night, objector Ian Corsie, of nearby Ancroft, said: “The reason the Toft Hill scheme was not approved was because of the proximity to the stones and that is another major issue for the Shoreswood one. So it is another key argument (in the Felkington case.)”

Objectors also say the proposal will have an adverse visual impact on the surrounding landscape, and an adverse impact on nearby residential properties in terms of visual impact and noise.

They argue the cumulative impact of the proposal has not been properly assessed and that it is for a commercial wind development which will not benefit the local economy or local residents.

A statement on the parish council’s website says: “The parish council has decided to object to this application on the grounds of its adverse cumulative impacts on the local landscape, the amenity of local residents and on the setting of the Duddo Stones.”

However, county council planning officers are recommending the planning and environment committee approve the scheme at a meeting on January 7.

Their report says: “The turbines would not be intrusive in views approaching the monument from the south (via the signed route) and would not interrupt the open views to the north (across the Tweed), north-west (Lammermuir Hills), west (Eildon Hills) and south-west (Cheviots) which inform an understanding of the setting and significance of the monument.

“The proposed development would therefore not cause ‘substantial harm’ to the setting and significance of Duddo Stone Circle.”

Fine Energy and Mr Martin were unavailable for comment yesterday.


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