Two out of three wind farm bids are given green light

THE Government last night gave the green light to two Northumberland wind farm proposals and rejected a third.

THE Government last night gave the green light to two Northumberland wind farm proposals and rejected a third.

Final decisions were issued yesterday on three proposals for a combined 59 turbines in the Kirkwhelpington area, north of Ponteland.

Ministers gave the go-ahead to a proposal from Wind Prospect Developments for 18 turbines at Green Rigg Fell, Birtley.

Secretary of State for energy and climate change Ed Miliband also gave consent with conditions to the application for 20 turbines on the Ray Estate, from Amec Project Investments – against the advice of his planning inspector who urged refusal.

But the Government threw out a bid from Steadings Wind Farm Ltd, part of Banks Developments, for 21 turbines at Steadings.

The three projects were heard at a public inquiry which lasted 11 months, ending in December 2008.

Last night, Karen Archbold, secretary of action group Campaign for Responsible Energy Development in Tynedale (CREDIT), which opposed all three schemes, said: “Obviously we are deeply disappointed in the decisions. This is a very sad day for Northumberland. What we are talking about here is completely changing the landscape of this county. I do not know of any other county that has the potential to have this many wind turbines in it.

“The only bright spot is that one of them has been turned down.”

A spokesman for Wind Prospect said: “Wind Prospect is delighted that the Secretary of State has taken into account all of the information presented during the planning process and the public inquiry, and has determined that on balance, the Green Rigg site is suitable for a wind farm of this size and scale.”

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