Developers will not appeal refused Northumberland windfarm

Looking out towards the approximate site of the proposed Belford Burn windfarm from the B6349.
Looking out towards the approximate site of the proposed Belford Burn windfarm from the B6349.

The company behind proposals for a controversial windfarm in north Northumberland, which was thrown out by councillors last October, will not appeal the decision.

Energiekontor UK Ltd’s scheme for nine 100-metre turbines on land to the west of Belford – known as Belford Burn – was refused by Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee.

Now the firm has confirmed that it will not be appealing that decision. Project manager Michael Briggs said: “I can confirm that we have decided to not appeal this planning refusal within the statutory six-month window.”

Kerry Noble, vice-chairman of Middleton Burn Action Group (MBAG), which fought against the plans, said: “This is a major and historic victory for the democratic principle and the local community who have repeatedly returned a 98 per cent-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. Energiekontor 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.

“An application by the Danish owned Air Farmers Ltd was also expected early in the new year for their huge, 14-turbine monstrosity at the adjacent Middleton Burn site. This has not materialised. Our thoughts are that they may have been awaiting the outcome of Energiekontor’s proposal. Let us hope that their investors will now see the, very real, likelihood that they would be throwing away their cash.

“We must also continue to monitor and fight the ‘windrush’ to build so-called farm turbines. These ‘singleton’ applications are now all for giants of 100metres-plus in height. These are not to provide energy to the farm, but to farm the huge subsidy that will, hopefully, soon be scrapped by any right-minded government.”