Green light for contested wind scheme

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A controversial bid for a wind turbine, which one critic claimed will ‘stick out like a sore thumb’, has been given the go-ahead, despite sparking a string of objections.

The hotly-contested scheme was passed by a majority verdict by members of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee on Thursday.

The turbine, for Rivendell, near Swarland, will be 24.2metres to its blade tip and is to be placed on paddock land.

The applicant said he wanted to make his home ‘one of the most self-sufficient in Northumberland’ and claimed the turbine had been selected for its ‘low visual impact, small size, low noise levels and reliability’.

But residents and both Felton and Newton on the Moor and Swarland parish councils, criticised the bid for a number of reasons, including its visual impact, noise nuisance, and effects of shadow flicker.

Coun Trevor Thorne urged his council colleagues to turn the scheme down, saying it was too close to Swarland, would have ‘a very strong visual impact’, create a ‘constant noise’ which would ‘annoy’ residents and would ‘strongly detract’ from the historical asset of Davison’s obelisk.

But planners had recommended approval, subject to conditions, and the majority of members were in favour, as long as an extra condition was added to ensure the turbine did not exceed certain noise levels, which was agreed.

Some members of the committee said they felt that there was not strong enough grounds to refuse the scheme.