Turbines: ‘Enough is enough’

Middlemoor wind farm, just north of Alnwick.
Middlemoor wind farm, just north of Alnwick.

Parishioners who feel under siege from windfarms have urged objectors to a scheme for nine more turbines to make their voices heard.

PNE Wind is proposing the extra 125m high turbines in Eglingham Parish close to East Ditchburn and extending the existing Middlemoor and Wandylaw windfarms.

But the parish council feels it is being burdened with a disproportionate number of the modern windmills.

Eglingham is a small parish of around 350 people living in 137 households. It represents just two per cent of the surface area of Northumberland and 0.1 per cent of the population of the county.

Yet, the parish currently has 28 wind turbines within or immediately next to its boundary, which equates to about 18 per cent of the installed capacity in Northumberland.

“This is a contribution far in excess of the parish’s size and the capacity of the landscape,” said council chairman David Alston.

“We do not oppose the generation of energy by renewable means. However, we do object to windfarms developed in the wrong place.

“Northumberland’s contribution to windfarm capacity is already considerable and we produce far more energy than we consume.

“The county accounts for around 10 per cent of all consented onshore wind power.

“We have nearly twice as much consented onshore wind capacity as in all of the seven home counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex combined,” said Mr Alston.

The council believes the proposal, which is due to be submitted to the county council in July, will significantly increase the detrimental effect of the visual impact of the existing turbines in the surrounding area.

Mr Alston also pointed out the proposed site is next to the Bewick and Beanley Moors Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and next to an area of significant ornithological interest.

“In addition, it will be visible for miles around, not just within Eglingham Parish but significantly increasing the visual intrusion from the coast, the Cheviots and the National Park,” he said.

“The new Conservative Government has said it will enable local residents to block all future onshore wind farms, if they object to them – they propose to fast-track new measures into law.

“However, it is likely the PNE application will be submitted before this new legislation comes into force.”

He called on residents who believe Northumberland has enough windfarms to register their views at one of the PNE Wind exhibitions in the area next week or by writing to their local county councillor.

“I would urge all those people who value and cherish our special Northumberland landscape and its unique character to voice their objection to the PNE Ditchburn windfarm proposal once it is submitted in July,” he said.

PNE Wind issued a project newsletter to the community and held a first round of public exhibitions in South Charlton and Eglingham in September last year. The dates for a second round of exhibitions are:

l Monday, 4pm to 7.30pm, at Eglingham, Village Hall

l Tuesday, 2pm to 7.30pm, at South Charlton Village Hall.

l Wednesday, 4pm to 7.30pm, at Rennington Village Hall

On its website, PNE encourages residents to attend the sessions to view the plans and ask the project team questions. The energy company has also formed a community liaison group to ‘ensure that the proposed development involves local parish councils and takes account of their concerns’.

For more information or to download a copy of the original newsletter, visit www.pnewind.co.uk/projects/current-projects/ditchburnwindfarm/