Appeal lodged over wind turbine refusal

Follions Farm, Thropton, turbine pic'looking west towards the National Park
Follions Farm, Thropton, turbine pic'looking west towards the National Park
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An action group, which was set up to fight windfarm plans, has jumped into action after an appeal was lodged.

Last month, Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment and rights of way committee refused an application to erect a single, 78-metre, wind turbine on land at Follions Farm, at Weststeads, near Thropton.

More than 90 members of the public turned up to the meeting at County Hall in Morpeth to show their objections to the scheme, including the Fight Follions Windfarm group.

This was supported by more than 100 letters of objection.

Councillors on the committee unanimously refused the application.

A letter of refusal stated that the application was denied because ‘the proposed wind turbine would have unacceptably adverse impacts on the character of the local landscape and on the visual amenity of the area sufficient to outweigh the wider benefits of the proposed turbine in terms of renewable energy provision’.

But now developers Ogden Renewable Energy has put in an appeal to Northumberland County Council in a bid to have the refusal overturned.

It will now go to the Planning Inspectorate who will hold an inquiry to come to a decision on the plans.

The Fight Follions Windfarm group was set up when the application was originally announced, for members of public in the area to join forces in objection to plans.

When the appeal had been lodged, a statement on the group’s Facebook page said: “An appeal was lodged with NCC planning department on September, 11, 2013, against the decision of the county planning committee to refuse the Follions wind turbine application.

“This means that we all have a six week time frame to co-ordinate our responses as a community opposed to this structure in the midst of our unspoilt landscape.

“The new action group will be swinging into action immediately; and as soon as we find out what can be done by you (our Facebook followers) we will post on here and the Fight Follions website will be updated with a new page.”

At the beginning of the month, a meeting was held in Whittingham to discuss plans for another turbine application in Callaly, but this was withdrawn.

l Residents recently set out opposition to windfarm plans at Fenrother at a public inquiry. A decision is now awaited from the planning inspector.