Controversial wood-chipping operation set to get approval - despite objections over noise and traffic

A controversial wood-chipping operation is set to be granted retrospective permission – despite objections over noise and traffic fears.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 20th June 2019, 2:43 pm
Rock Midstead Farm, north of Alnwick. Picture by Ben O’Connell

The facility began operating at Rock Midstead Farm, about five miles north of Alnwick, in March 2017.

Initially, the operation only used logs and wood from the applicant’s (CJ Bosanquet Children’s Settlement) own land before expanding to take them from elsewhere. The wood-chip is used to fuel biomass plants in Northumberland and the wider region.

The project has directly created four new full-time jobs, while two of the agricultural employees are involved in wood-chip production during the quieter periods on the farm.

The operation has now applied for retrospective permission to carry out wood-chipping at the site, and for a new farm building, tracks and stackyard, and the mixed use of the latter for agriculture and wood-chip production.

The proposals are recommended for approval at a meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council on June 20 – but have sparked objections from two residents as well as both Eglingham and Rennington Parish Councils.

Ann Byrne, who lives at nearby Rock Moor Farm New Houses, wrote: ‘Despite there being no planning permission, this industrial operation has been allowed to continue for the past two years.

‘I have endured intolerable levels of noise over continuous periods of time, both day and night, weekends and even bank holidays.”