Multimillion-pound boost for economy

Wind turbines at Nissan.
Wind turbines at Nissan.

A proposed windfarm in a north Northumberland village could bring in ‘a multimillion-pound sum’ through business for the local quarry.

And at last Thursday’s meeting of Belford Parish Council, the company behind the Belford Burn windfarm also said that they were happy to a condition that would ensure people from the village were employed during the construction.

Michael Briggs and Richard Hind, of Energiekontor UK, which is proposing a windfarm of nine turbines with a maximum height of 100metres to blade tip to the west of the village, spoke to members about their scheme.

During discussion of the benefits to the local economy, the pair was informed that Belford has its own quarry.

Mr Hind said: “That’s quite major, that you have that on your doorstep.”

He added that it could potentially lead to a ‘multimillion-pound sum’ for the quarry during the construction of the windfarm.

Responding to questions from Chris Craddock, chairman of the Middleton Burn Action Group, which opposes the scheme, they also agreed that where competitive contractors with the right skills are available in the village, they will be used.

However there were still a number of concerns from both the parish council and members of the public who attended the meeting.

One of the key concerns is the transport routes through the village to access the site, indeed, it was pointed out that the quarry’s trucks are banned from driving through the village.

Mr Briggs and Mr Hind said that any transport routes through the village for large or heavy vehicles would be worked out as part of a traffic management plan.

Mr Briggs said that following the initial selection of the site, the company is now ‘getting to grips with local issues’.

“We will take a lot of steer from what the local authority has to say and what local people have to say,” he added.

Coun Geoff O’Connell asked about grid connections, with another proposed windfarm just north of Belford Burn also in the offing, and the Alnwick connection apparently approaching capacity.

Mr Briggs explained that Belford lies on the border between the areas controlled by Scottish Power and NEDL, giving them ‘options both north and south’.