Hundreds join protest as windfarm fight steps up

MBAG chairman Chris Craddock with the protesters in Belford.
MBAG chairman Chris Craddock with the protesters in Belford.

More than 200 people turned out on Sundayy morning as a north Northumberland village held a protest against a proposed nine-turbine windfarm.

The event in Belford was organised by protest group Middleton Burn Action Group now that a planning application has been submitted to the county council for the Belford Burn scheme to the west of the village.

The group said that the protest was designed to ‘highlight one of the many contentious aspects of their [applicant Energiekontor] plans with regard to the proposed access routes for the gigantic transports delivering the turbine components to their site’.

The size of the vehicles were replicated by protesters carrying boards to simulate the length and breadth.

The route, down North Bank and turning right into West Street, would also require the removal of some of the street furniture in the Market Square, including trees, bollards and planters.

Ward member for Belford, Coun John Woodman, said: “I was pleased to join the demonstration against the proposed Belford Burn windfarm: Well over 200 people turned out on a decent Sunday morning, which shows the depth of concern in the village.

“The demonstration was an imaginative way of showing the scale of disruption there would be during the construction phase, should the application be approved, but even more worrying in the long term would be the impact on the landscape and the ecology and consequently on tourism.

“The plans are available in Belford’s community shop.

“I urge people to take a look at them to understand the proposed scale of the development and then to pass on their views to the council’s planning team.”

But Energiekontor has offered assurances, with all HGV traffic, around 95 per cent of construction traffic, to be diverted around the village.

Plus the delivery period for turbine components through the village would only last for ‘one or possibly two months’, each delivery is expected to take no more than five minutes to pass through travelling at the speed of agricultural vehicles and the items removed from the Market Place will be returned ‘in no worse a condition’.