Editor’s comment: We’ll wait and see

NEWS that 18 turbines will be in place on the hills north of Alnwick by the end of the year will be greeted with horror by some and applauded by others.

It will be four years in August since plans for the windfarm at Middlemoor were approved by the Government, following one of the most contentious and controversial planning battles in recent memory. Despite overwhelming objection from across the community, the scheme was passed, only to be halted by concerns over the impact on the RAF radar at Brizlee Wood.

That now appears to have been resolved, leaving the way clear for the turbines to go in.

Likewise, a second swathe of 10 turbines approved in 2009 for neighbouring Wandylaw is now able to proceed.

During the planning process, much emphasis was placed by objectors on the alleged detrimental impact such a large number of turbines will cumulatively cause to the landscape and, as a knock-on effect, the tourist industry.

What we have now is the acid test. Once the windfarm is up and operational, we will be able to finally see whether these fears are justified or were simple scaremongering.

Some, however, may see this as closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. If it does turn out to be the nightmare predicted by some, there will be serious questions asked.

But likewise, if the turbines have little or no impact on livelihoods or landscape and are as efficient as promised, the same critical appraisal should apply.