Company holds exhibition of windfarm plans

An artist's impression of how the Middleton Burn windfarm would look from the view west from the western boundary of St Mary's churchyard in Belford. By Anthony Meikle

An artist's impression of how the Middleton Burn windfarm would look from the view west from the western boundary of St Mary's churchyard in Belford. By Anthony Meikle

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Middleton Burn Ltd is continuing plans to develop a 14-turbine wind farm near Belford, despite the unanimous refusal of a similar scheme just weeks ago.

The company is today holding its third public exhibition to update the community on its latest plans and gather feedback.

Part of Dutch firm Air Farmers Ltd, Middleton Burn Ltd wants to build 14 125-metre turbines on grassland two kilometres north west of Belford.

The company is pushing on with the project despite the fact that Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee unanimously refused Energiekontor permission to build nine 100-metre turbines to the west of the village, immediatley south of the proposed Middleton Burn scheme, earlier this month.

Kerry Noble, vice chairman of the Middleton Burn Action Group, which pledged to fight both schemes, said: “Despite the unanimous refusal of EK’s Belford Burn project by NCC, this Danish owned company is about to submit a planning application for 14 125-metre turbines on an even more contentious site – directly above St Cuthbert’s Cave, straddling both St Cuthbert’s and St Oswald’s Ways and even closer to Holy Island.”

Middleton Burn Ltd has claimed that there is some support for the scheme within the village.

But Mr Noble said that the results of exit polls MBAG has carried out at the previous two exhibitions (which showed 93 per cent and 100 per cent of attendees were against the scheme), unanimous refusal of the Belford Burn proposal, and last week’s debate in the House of Lords, proved them wrong.

He added: “We will be conducting the exit poll outside the Community Club premises and would encourage everyone concerned to attend their exhibition and have their say. The opinion of the local community is now an important consideration within the planning process.

The public exhibition is open between 2pm and 8pm today at the Belford Community Club on West Street.