VILLAGERS will come together tomorrow to draw up battle lines in the latest campaign against plans for a wind farm in the countryside.
A residents’ action group has been set up to oppose the bid by green energy company, Wind Ventures, to build four turbines – each 126.5 metres tall – on the former RAF airfield at Tranwell, near Morpeth.
The machines would be close to secluded Tranwell Woods, one of the region’s most exclusive and expensive housing estates where homes can carry price tags of more than £1m.
The Journal has already revealed how one local pressure group, Action for Rural Morpeth, has pledged to fight the application because of fears over its impact on local people and the landscape.
Now Tranwell Wind Farm Action Group (TWAG), which was only set up last week, has organised a public meeting for tomorrow night to mobilise local opposition to the scheme.
It is hoped that about 100 people will attend the meeting, which gets under way in Stannington village hall at 7.30pm.
Hexham MP Guy Opperman is expected to attend, along with parish and county councillors, and representatives of other groups which have opposed wind farm schemes around Morpeth.
TWAG is supported by Stannington, Whalton and Mitford parish councils, and members have already distributed more than 1,000 flyers to local households urging people to make their feelings known to the planning authority, Northumberland County Council.
Stannington parish council has already agreed to object to the Wind Ventures application and has listed 15 separate reasons, which focus on the impact of the proposed wind farm on the green belt, its effect on the rural landscape, noise and health and safety issues.
Last night parish chairman, Karen Carins, said she is confident many more will add their opposition.
“We are not against green energy but what we are fighting on the Tranwell application is the proximity of the turbines to residents and the impact on their quality of life. Opencast mining is there and then gone, but these turbines will be here for 25 years, which is almost half people’s lifetime.
“We are also concerned about the tourism aspect, with the Northumberlandia earth sculpture now attracting visitors, and Thursday’s public meeting is to inform people and make them aware of the whole process.”
TWAG is working with GP Dr James Lunn, who led the recent successful campaign against plans for a five-turbine wind farm next to the hamlet of Fenrother, north of Morpeth.
Reading-based Wind Ventures has applied for planning permission a year after being given approval for a wind-testing mast at the disused Second World War airfield. It says the wind farm would power about 6,000 homes and claims the former airfield is a suitable site for such a development.
Wind Ventures has failed to respond to requests for a comment on its plans.