Government steps in to make decision on turbine appeal

The stones at Duddo. Picture by Nick Box
The stones at Duddo. Picture by Nick Box

A long-running saga over a bid for a wind turbine near an ancient monument has taken another turn with the Government intervening for a second time.

The appeal decision on the proposed 74-metre turbine at Shoreswood Farm, near Ancroft, which has sparked objections from many wishing to protect the 4,000-year-old Duddo stone circle, will now be decided by a Government Minister.

The Planning Inspectorate has notified interested parties that the Secretary of State has recovered the Shoreswood appeal decision.

This means that he will make the eventual decision, taking into consideration the recommendation of the Planning Inspector, as it ‘involves a renewable energy development’.

In September, the Gazette reported that a community group – The Guardians of the Stones – had issued a call to arms in the latest battle to protect the ancient stones after the original appeal approval was quashed by the Minister for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins.

The original scheme was unanimously refused by Northumberland County Council’s planning committee in October 2012, following the advice of planning officers and heritage experts.

The applicants appealed and a planning inspector subsequently overturned the decision, before a legal claim was made to the High Court, seeking to quash this decision.

But before the case came to court, the appeal approval was quashed and a different planning inspector was appointed to decide the case.

Now this inspector, Richard McCoy, who recently refused the nearby turbine at Felkington Farm, will no longer make the decision.