Uncertain future over wind turbines at Duddo stone circle

Duddo wind turbines decision deferred after Northumberland County Council planning authority failed to report objection

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

Plans to erect wind turbines close to Northumberland’s answer to Stonehenge have been deferred amid anger over a council’s lost objection.

Proposals to site two engines near Duddo stone circle had been due to be determined by Northumberland County Council on Tuesday night.

However, they were instead deferred amid anger over the planning authority’s failure to report an objection from Duddo Parish Council.

The parish last night branded the omission “farcical” while the county blamed an “oversight.”

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

It has been submitted by wind firm Fine Energy.

The site is 1.8km from the 4,000-year-old scheduled ancient monument, also known as The Women or the Singing Stones, next to the hamlet of Duddo. The site is made up of five large blocks of stone, created in the Neolithic period. The reasons for its creation are shrouded in mystery.

Seven residents and the parish council objected claiming the proposal would 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.

However, despite parish councillor Don Brownlow lodging his authority’s objection in October, his claim that a planning officer verbally acknowledged receipt and several emails, the county council said in its report to members that no response had been received.

And the report recommended that the planning and environment committee approve the application.

Coun Brownlow raised the omission with the county council ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, resulting in the application being deferred.

He last night branded the situation “farcical” and added: “They recognised it would be illegal to determine without members seeing the parish council’s submission.

“I am copying in the evidence to them today. The case officer involved had no explanation. I completely fail to understand what they are playing at.”

A council spokesperson said: “Consideration of the application was deferred as comments from Duddo Parish Council had not been included in the committee report due to an oversight.

“In order to address this, the application was not discussed and will be considered at a future meeting once the report has been updated to include the comments of the parish council.”

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