Trio of turbines set for approval

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips


Published on Monday 6 February 2012 08:19

by Ian Smith

PLANS for three wind turbines at sites across north Northumberland are expected to be given the green light by county planners tonight.

All three schemes – at Wark Common Farm, Brackenside Farm and New Haggerston Farmhouse – are being recommended for approval at Northumberland County Council’s north area planning meeting.

At Wark, Straker Farms is planning to build a turbine measuring 55m to hub height and 71m to blade tip just over 0.5km from the nearest unrelated neighbour.

It says the turbine, which would have an output of 275kw, would address the energy requirements of the farm, reduce its carbon footprint and promote renewable energy in the area.

However, there have been 41 letters of objection outlining concerns about the scale of the turbine, its visual impact and the potential impact on tourism and wildlife.

Fears about cumulative impact were also raised but the nearest single turbine would be 9km away at Kelso, the nearest wind farm with granted planning consent is at Barmoor 15km away and the nearest existing wind farm is 20km north at Black Hill, near Duns.

In a report to members, planning officer Tony Lowe states: “On balance the potential benefits of sustainable renewable energy from a local source are considered sufficient to outweigh any of the impacts on the character of the landscape and visual and residential amenity.”

Meanwhile, plans for a 47m tall wind turbine at Brackenside Farm, near Ford, are being recommended for approval despite more than 30 objections from local residents.

The application by John Barber was deferred at last month’s north area planning committee following requests for more detailed information.

The turbine, measuring 36.7m to the hub and 47.1m to the blade tips, would have a 100kw capacity and be located approximately 20m north of the main farm buildings.

The proposal would feed electricity directly into the farm buildings through an underground cable connection with any surplus energy feeding directly into the existing power lines.

However, there have been 37 objection letters citing visual impact, noise, shadow flicker and the significant potential for cumulative impact given the site’s proximity to the consented Barmoor wind farm.

Planning officer Asif Khan, in his report to members, acknowledges there would be an impact on the local landscape and a limited impact on the visual amenity of a small number of properties. However, he felt the area could accommodate the proposal.

He said: “The proposed turbine would not be visible from the majority of the wider Kyloe Hills and Glendale Areas of High Landscape Value and although it may be possible to view the turbine from certain selected locations, these views would be limited and would not adversely affect the special qualities of the rural landscape.”

At New Haggerston Farmhouse, Berwick-based Maden Design and Build are proposing a turbine 24.6m to its hub and 34.2m to its blade tips.

It is proposed to locate the turbine 170m to the south west of the nearest farm building, more than 1km west of the main Haggerston settlement.

There have been two letters of support pointing out that New Haggerston has a long history of substantial farm buildings within the landscape and that the turbine would not have a significant detrimental impact on neighbouring properties.

However, the local parish council and a neighbour have objected on the grounds that the turbine is too large for the location and would spoil the landscape character of the area and farm buildings.

A report to members states: “It is acknowledged that there would be an impact on the local landscape and a limited impact on the visual amenity of a small number of properties.

“However, it is considered that the area could accommodate a single turbine at the scale proposed. The proposed turbine would not be visible or would have a low visual impact from the majority of the wider area and although it may be possible to view the turbine from certain selected locations, these views would be, in the main, limited in nature and would not adversely affect the special qualities of the rural landscape.”


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