... while Duke lashes turbines as "ugly and noisy"

AFTER years of private protest against wind farm encroachment, the Duke of Northumberland has finally gone public about his dislike of turbines.

Responding to a letter sent to a regional newspaper, the owner of Alnwick Castle described them as "ugly, noisy and completely out of place in our beautiful, historic landscape".

And despite the prospect of earning large amounts of money, the Duke says he has "repelled" suggestions that he should site turbines on his 100,000 acre estate.

Explaining his reasons for not making his objections public until now, the Duke said: "As I and my forebears have opened quarries and mines, built offices, schools and supermarkets, a considerable number of houses and been involved in a wide range of other developments which occasionally provoke local opposition, I could stand accused of double standards if I became publicly involved in the wind farm debate in our region.

"However, I have privately stated my opposition and personally written to councillors to state that opposition.

"There are no wind farms on my family estate and I have repelled all requests to apply for them.

"I have studied the debate, arguments and statistics and come to the personal conclusion that wind farms divide communities, ruin landscapes, affect tourism, make a minimal contribution to our energy needs and a negligible contribution towards reducing CO2 emissions.

"The landowner and developer are enriched while the consumer is impoverished by higher energy costs.

"Turbines are ugly, noisy and completely out of place in our beautiful, historic landscape."