No appeal against refused Northumberland windfarm plan

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  • RES won’t appeal refusal of Rayburn Lake windfarm
  • Controversial scheme sparked mass objection
  • Company hasn’t ruled out future application

The company behind a controversial plan to build five wind turbines in Northumberland has said it will not appeal the refused scheme.

In October, Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee knocked back RES UK and Ireland Ltd’s bid for the 127-metre-high turbines between Wingates and Netherwitton, known as Rayburn Lake.

The application was hotly-contested, sparking more than 150 objections from residents and a number of parish councils.

It was also recommended for refusal by planning officers, who said it would have a ‘significant and unacceptable adverse impact on visual amenity and on the character of the local landscape’ as well as ‘a significant and unacceptable cumulative adverse impact on the special qualities of the Northumberland National Park’, ‘overbearing and oppressive impacts on Lily Cottage and Holly Lodge’ and ‘a significant and unacceptable impact on the landscape and visual amenity when viewed from Wingates village’.

After the scheme was knocked backed last year, an RES spokesman said that the company was ‘very disappointed’ with the decision and intended to examine the reasons for refusal ‘very carefully’ as it considered its position.

However, RES has now confirmed that it will not be appealing against the county council’s decision to refuse the application. But RES said that it could not guarantee that the site would never be the subject of a future windfarm application.

Following the review, RES and BT have decided not to appeal this decision

Letter from RES

In a letter from the company, which was this morning tweeted by the Conservative candidate for the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency Anne-Marie Trevelyan, read: “Following the decision, we have reviewed the planning committee’s reasons for refusal in some detail and discussed the options for the site with our joint-venture partner BT. We are writing to advise you that, following the review, RES and BT have decided not to appeal this decision.

“While we continue to believe that the site has many positive attributes for renewable-energy generation, including excellent wind speeds and a good transportation route, anticipated upgrades to the grid network near Blyth have not progressed as anticipated and alternative connections have not been forthcoming.

“This, coupled with other considerations, has led to our decision not to pursue plans for Rayburn windfarm any further.

“While we cannot guarantee that the site will never be the subject of a windfarm application by RES or another developer in the future, we can confirm that RES and BT will not be appealing this refusal.”

The company adds that, if the scheme had progressed, it would have been capable of generating sufficient renewable electricity to meet the needs of around 6,500 homes and would have delivered community and economic benefits to the region of at least £2.6million over its lifetime.