Firms react to wind refusal

Middlemoor wind farm, just north of Alnwick.
Middlemoor wind farm, just north of Alnwick.

The companies behind the two Northumberland windfarm schemes which were rejected last week have expressed their disappointment.

However, representatives from both firms have said it is too early at this stage to say whether or not they will be appealing the decisions made by Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee.

Energiekontor UK Ltd’s Belford Burn proposal, for nine 100-metre turbines on land to the west of Belford, was one of those turned down.

Reacting to the refusal this week, project manager Michael Briggs said: “We were obviously disappointed with the council’s decision.

“We feel that we put together a quality proposal that would have delivered significant benefits for the local community as well as producing substantial amounts of renewable energy.

“The Belford railway station development in particular was something we were excited about contributing towards. The refusal can only be a setback to the deliverability of the station.

“We have not reached an internal decision on whether or not to appeal.”

Meanwhile, RES UK and Ireland Ltd’s bid for five 127-metre-high turbines between Wingates and Netherwitton, known as Rayburn Lake, was also refused.

Commenting on the decision to turn down the application, RES project manager Micheál O’Broin said: “It is very disappointing that, despite poll after poll showing that there is clear support for renewable energy in this country, local decision-makers do not have the confidence to approve well-designed, carefully-located projects like Rayburn.

“Based on years of detailed studies of the proposed windfarm site, we truly believe that any impacts on the environment and local people would be minimal and are greatly outweighed by the advantages, which include 25 years of clean electricity generation as well as economic and social benefits.”

RES intends to examine the reasons for refusal very carefully as it considers its position and will keep the community informed of any next steps.