Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Villagers Celebrate End of Wind Turbine Battle

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Villagers Celebrate End of Wind Turbine Battle

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter

RESIDENTS of a Northumberland village are celebrating after a wind farm developer revealed it has accepted the refusal of planning permission for turbines.

People at Belford have been told EnergieKontor UK (EK) will not be challenging Northumberland County Council's decision to refuse planning permission for nine turbines at Belford Burn.

The action group which fought the scheme has called the news "a major victory for the democratic principle".

The developer had hoped to put up 100m-high turbines.

However, the county council's planning and environment committee voted unanimously for refusal last October, as recommended by officers.

The developer had six months from the decision to lodge an appeal, with that period expiring last week.

And in an email to the council and the Middleton Burn Action Group (MBAG), project manager Michael Briggs said: "I can confirm that we have decided to not appeal this planning refusal within the statutory six-month window."

Reacting, action group vice-chairman Kerry Noble said: "This is a major and historic victory for the democratic principle and the local community who have repeatedly returned a 98%-plus objection throughout the planning process. MBAG would like to thank everyone concerned for their generosity in time and donations to bring about this tremendous outcome in saving our beautiful area from further turbine blight. "We must not, however, become complacent. EK has a further six months to submit a revised application, although we deem this unlikely.

"They have now felt the full force of an unexpected (to them!), locally led campaign of opposition. "Any revised scheme will meet the same and the result would, almost certainly, produce a further refusal by the planning authority.

"We must also continue to monitor and fight the 'windrush' to build socalled farm turbines. …

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