‘Vital research’ to protect the tourist industry

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

Studies on the impact of wind turbines on tourism in Northumberland, which were commissioned by the county council, are making progress.

At its latest meeting, the council’s regeneration working group heard about the latest developments in terms of the various studies.

One study takes into account the views of visitors to the county, asking questions about the importance of natural scenery and landscape, factors affecting visitors’ decisions to visit or stay in Northumberland and what factors may deter visitors. In the latter two cases, wind turbines were included in a list of factors.

This survey took place during March, the raw data has been analysed and the report is currently being prepared.

Scott Dickinson, Labour councillor for Druridge Bay, said: “I welcome this piece of vital research which will help the county planning process, but its a shame we’ve had to act because Coalition splits on onshore wind turbines have held up a similar piece of national research.

“It’s clear that we have to protect the vitally important tourist industry which accounts for more than 10,000 jobs in Northumberland and this research will be useful, especially in the light of controversial onshore wind developments.”