Critics of a contentious windfarm proposal say they have been omitted from an official site visit.
The turbine scheme at Blue Sky Forest (BSF), a major recreation project between Hadston and Widdrington, is proving unpopular among some neighbours.
Of more than 100 villagers in the Hadston area who responded to an opinion poll, most opposed the turbines.
But the county council had wrongly asked them about 13 turbines, though the number had been reduced to nine, and had given a wrong date, so they did not have enough time to reply, East Chevington Parish Council chairman Coun Scott Dickinson told members on Monday evening.
“There’s just been something fishy about this application from the beginning.
“Now I’ve heard today that there is a site visit on Friday which Widdrington Village Parish Council have been asked to go to. However, those two parish councils which had the feedback exercise have not been invited, so East Chevington and Widdrington Station have not been invited.”
Last April, Coun Dickinson urged the county to call a public meeting so villagers could hear the ‘full story’ about Peel Energy’s proposal.
The company has said the turbines would be the first phase of the leisure and tourism project, led by Widdrington Regeneration Partnership. Peel says the turbines would ‘play an important role in stimulating the wider BSF development proposals’. But objectors have questioned this.
Coun Dickinson told this week’s parish council meeting at Hadston Youth and Community Centre: “I find it absolutely appalling that the biggest parish that’s going to be affected by this, one who took the time to do the feedback exercise and is the closest to it . . . has not been notified.”
One member asked if it could be an oversight, but Coun Paul Claridge replied: “It’s an intentional oversight.”
A county council spokeswoman said: “The normal protocol for site visits is that the parish within which the proposal lies is invited to the site visit. In this case the proposal lies over the boundary of two parishes and these councils have been invited to attend the site visit.
“ It may be beneficial or appropriate for other neighbouring parishes with an interest to attend a site visit. This is at the discretion of the chair of the planning and environment committee, who can be approached with such a request via the planning team.”
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Weather for Northumberland
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
Wind Speed: 32 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North