Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Turning Moorland into Industrial Site' Government Gives Turbine Permission

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'Turning Moorland into Industrial Site' Government Gives Turbine Permission

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

ASWATHE of moorland in Northumberland will be carpeted by 28 giant turbines after the Government approved plans for a wind farm in the area.

Anti-turbine protesters claimed valuable landscapes north of Alnwick would be wrecked by a 'vast industrial installation' following the green light for the cluster of 125m-high structures.

Yesterday Oxfordshire-based RidgeWind Ltd was given the go-ahead to build 10 turbines at Wandylaw, near Chathill, by communities and local government secretary Hazel Blears.

She allowed the company's appeal against Berwick Borough Council's refusal of planning permission for the 30 megawatt scheme, saying it would make a significant contribution to helping Northumberland meet its targets for generating renewable energy. The decision comes six months after Government ministers also approved plans by npower renewables for 18 turbines at Middlemoor, North Charlton.

Campaigners say the two sites are so close to each other the approvals will effectively create a single, massive wind farm on exposed moorland in a tourist area.

Dominic Coupe, a Northumberland spokesman for the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said: "The effect of this will be to create a vast industrial installation on the moors north of Alnwick, with structures taller than any buildings between London and Edinburgh.

"This will be in an otherwise beautiful landscape close to Northumberland's priceless historic assets, such as its castles and coastline. These turbines will be visible for at least 25 miles and the whole thing remains a crying shame.

"Following Middlemoor, this decision is not a surprise because once you have given permission to wreck a landscape, you have wrecked it."

Nick Blezard, chairman of the Save Northumberland's Environment (SANE) group which opposed the Wandylaw scheme, said: "The decision is not a surprise but is still very disappointing, particularly because of the ever-increasing evidence that turbines are not actually the answer.

"This is bad news for the Alnwick area, but also for all those other people fighting wind farm applications which have not been decided yet. We now have these two decisions and there is an element of a precedent being set. …

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