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Test site for windfarm is approved

THE world's biggest renewable energy developer has been given the go-ahead to start weather tests at Netherwitton, which could lead to a windfarm within three years.

RES UK (Renewable Energy Systems) will start wind speed measuring at Rayburn Lake, 1.5-miles north of the village, within months.

It was revealed in February that a national mapping exercise by the group had pinpointed land around the lake and Blubbery Wood, Longhirst, as potential turbine sites.

Last week Castle Morpeth Council planning chiefs granted permission for an 80-metre tall wind-speed gauge to be erected at Rayburn for 36 months.

The decision came just four weeks after the same committee rejected an identical application for land between Longhirst and Hebron, claiming the mast-mounted anemometer could harm wildlife.

Approving the application, chairman Coun Frank Harrington confirmed that the Netherwitton site was an ‘area of search’ the council had identified as suitable for testing.

A spokesperson for RES said the ‘norm’ for their rural windfarm developments linked to the national grid in England is between ten and 30 turbines, up to 125-metres tall.

Amy Hinks, local communications officer, said: “We have a national map of suitable windfarm sites which rules out most of the country.

“The grid threw up Netherwitton, as well as others in the UK, as a key area... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
RES UK (Renewable Energy Systems) will start wind speed measuring at Rayburn Lake, 1.5-miles north of the village, within months.

It was revealed in February that a national mapping exercise by the group had pinpointed land around the lake and Blubbery Wood, Longhirst, as potential turbine sites.

Last week Castle Morpeth Council planning chiefs granted permission for an 80-metre tall wind-speed gauge to be erected at Rayburn for 36 months.

The decision came just four weeks after the same committee rejected an identical application for land between Longhirst and Hebron, claiming the mast-mounted anemometer could harm wildlife.

Approving the application, chairman Coun Frank Harrington confirmed that the Netherwitton site was an ‘area of search’ the council had identified as suitable for testing.

A spokesperson for RES said the ‘norm’ for their rural windfarm developments linked to the national grid in England is between ten and 30 turbines, up to 125-metres tall.

Amy Hinks, local communications officer, said: “We have a national map of suitable windfarm sites which rules out most of the country.

“The grid threw up Netherwitton, as well as others in the UK, as a key area because it is far enough away from houses and Ministry of Defence radars.

“It is impossible to say at this stage whether the tests will lead to a firm application for a windfarm, or whether that will be in six months or two years’ time.”

Testing wind speed and direction with anemometers is seen as the first phase in an proposal to erect electricity-generating turbines.

Similar testing over two years at land west of Alcan smelter at Lynemouth led to a firm proposal to erect 16 turbines, which was submitted by ScottishPower last month.

Objections to RES’ application were lodged by Netherwitton Parish Council, which claimed the mast would ‘visually intrude’ on the landscape and that the site was unsuitable for a windfarm.

Northumberland Wildlife Trust and the Campaign to Protect Rural England raised no concerns about the structure.


Source: http://www.blyth-wansbeckto...

MAY 2 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2408-test-site-for-windfarm-is-approved
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