A special meeting is being held tomorrow night to gauge opinion on plans for a wind turbine in a Northumberland beauty spot – and residents are being encouraged to have their say.
Whittingham, Callaly and Alnham Parish Council is holding the event at Whittingham Memorial Institute at 7.30pm.
It comes on the back of a planning application, which has been submitted to Northumberland County Council, for a 78metre-to-blade-tip turbine.
The windmill is to be located on land associated with Follions Farm, near Lorbottle.
As the proposed location is just inside the Callaly parish boundary, the local council is keen to hear people’s opinions on the scheme.
Parish council chairman Ian Lepingwell said: “We would like residents to come along to the meeting if they have strong views about this, whether it is for or against.
“This is the first wind turbine application we have received for this parish and the parish council feels strongly that when something significant in the way of a planning application comes through, like this, we want to hear the views of the residents.
“When the parish council makes its decision on this, which won’t be at tomorrow’s meeting but at our next regular parish council meeting next week, we would like to know the views of our residents before we make a decision.”
AAH Planning Consultants, who are involved with the application, say the turbine would allow the adjacent farm business to diversify and operate in a more environmentally and financially-sustainable way.
Despite the windmill being sited on the outlying foothills of the Cheviots and to the east of the Northumberland National Park, those involved with the scheme say its impact would only be ‘slight/moderate’.
But not everyone is in favour. Glanton resident Tony Meikle has produced a graphic artist’s impression of the turbine (see above).
He claims it is more useful than the ‘totally inadequate and inaccurate snapshot’ of the proposed turbine which is shown in the planning documents.
Mr Meikle, who is set to attend tomorrow’s meeting, said: “The turbine would be just up the valley from where I live and I don’t want it at all.
“It is over-sized and in the wrong place. It is in a highly-sensitive area, adjacent to the National Park, and it will have an adverse impact on tourism.”
Last week, ward member for Rothbury, Coun Steven Bridgett, told the Gazette he would be voting against it on a number of grounds, including visual impact.
Tomorrow’s special meeting is open to all interested parties and members of the public, including neighbouring parish council members and residents.
Anyone who wants to speak should email Richard Thompson on parishcouncil66@btin ternet.com by the end of today.