17th Sep 2013
Press release September 2013
The Northumberland and Newcastle Society recently published photographs showing the effects of the Middlemoor/Wandylaw complex of twenty-eight 125 metre (410 ft) wind turbines on the setting of Dunstanburgh Castle and other key locations on Northumberland’s coast.
Dunstanburgh, with Bamburgh Castle is one of the largest and most imposing fortifications in Northern England, and until recently dominated Northumberland’s Coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast.
The coast is now dominated by the Middlemoor/Wandylaw turbine complex, inland from Dunstanburgh, and 15 giant turbines at Lynemouth and Blyth.
Another 13 massive industrial turbines have been consented just inland from Druridge Bay near Widdrington, with 8 more waiting to be built at Blyth and Lynemouth.
In the light of the damage that has already been done, the Society urgently wishes to draw attention to the Belford Burn application for nine 100m turbines high on the escarpment above Belford.
This proposal brings the turbine blight of Northumberland’s coastal landscape closer to Bamburgh and Holy Island and risks further damage to North Northumberland’s vital tourist industry.
Had robust planning policy been in place this scheme would never have reached the stage of an application for planning permission.
The latest national planning guidance from the Department for Communities and Local Government (‘Planning practice guidance for renewable and low carbon energy, July 2013’) provides guidance that urgently needs to be reflected in Northumberland County Council’s emerging Core Strategy.
Specifically, a precise definition of conditions to protect residential amenity and safeguard the setting of heritage sites would provide clear guidance to developers on where turbine installations might reasonably be located without threat to the communities and treasured tourist landscapes of Northumberland.
The Society believes that there is no need for anybody to feel guilty about openly objecting to further wind farm proposals in the County. It believes that the renewable energy policies that have caused such proliferation are flawed, are simply not working and have already caused regrettable and unnecessary damage.
Together with the Right Reverend Martin Wharton, Bishop of Newcastle, we call on NCC to exercise their obligation to conserve our historic and unique environment and urgently explore the possibilities raised by this guidance.
Belford Burn planning application: NCC Ref. 13/02050/RENEIA
NCC do not supply up-to–date information on turbine development. The Windbyte website – www.windbyte.co.uk – has the best current information. The following excludes individual/small groups of ‘farm turbines’ which may be up to 100m high.
Onshore Wind Farms - Operating
Blyth (Blyth Harbour): 1 x 130m
Boundary Lane – 3 x 115m
Green Rigg – 18 x 110m
Kiln Pit Hill – 6 x 120m
Kirkheaton – 3 x 66.5m
Lynemouth (Alcan): 13 x 121.2m
Lynemouth (‘Bewick Drift’): 1 x 132m
Merck, Sharp & Dohme – 2 x 125m
Middlemoor – 18 x 125m
Wandylaw – 10 x 125m
Wingates – 6 x 110m
Total operating: 81
Barmoor – 6 x 110.5m
Berwick ‘Steps of Grace’ – 1 x 78m
Bewick Drift – 2 x 132m
Blyth Harbour – 6 x 130m
Ray Estate – 16 x 125m
Widdrington, Sisters - 4 x 126m;
Widdrington, Maiden Hall - 9 x 126.5m
Total Consented/Under Construction: 44
Belford Burn – 9 x 100m
Tranwell – 4 x 115m
Total in planning: 13
Fenrother (refusal appealed) – 5 x 126.5m
Total at appeal: 5
Total - advanced pre-application, named proposals: 150+ x 100-175m
Blyth Offshore - 2 x 93m, operating.
Blyth Narec Test Array -15 x