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Cross-border opposition to Marshall Meadows met mast

The A1 at Lamberton looking from Scotland into England where fields at Marshall Meadows are the proposed site for two wind turbines.

The A1 at Lamberton looking from Scotland into England where fields at Marshall Meadows are the proposed site for two wind turbines.

Proposals for a pair of wind turbines close to the English and Scottish border, each up to 70m tall, are facing mounting opposition.

Residents from both sides of the border have lodged their concerns about the plans for Marshall Meadows Farm, near Berwick.

Advance Renewables wants to install the turbines on farmland between the A1 and main east coast railway line.

It has submitted a scoping report to Northumberland County Council which could be a precursor to a formal planning application later this year.

And its application for a temporary 50m tall anemometer mast to assess the potential suitability for turbines at the site is being recommended for approval by Northumberland County Council’s planning and environment committee.

Philip McCarthy, senior planning officer, said: “The proposed development would not have an unacceptable impact on the landscape, visual amenity, ecology, cultural heritage or other matters of acknowledged importance.”

Seven letters of objection were submitted, citing concerns about the visual impact on the border visitor point and a stunning stretch of coastline.

Nicola Porter from Eyemouth said: “I frequently travel along the very scenic route along the A1 to Berwick. That stretch of road along the coast is stunning and unique; appreciated by locals and tourists alike and it is for this reason that I am objecting.

“We have experienced this in East Berwickshire with the consenting of met masts which have led to wind farms being applied for and consented.”

Alan Torrance, on behalf of the Berwickshire Civic Society, added: “This application is intended as a precursor to yet further unsightly wind turbines in an area very visible from the A1 and from Berwickshire in Scotland, almost on the border.

“This mast should not be allowed as wind turbines are not and should never be permitted in such a sensitive area.”

John Trotter from Mordington raised concerns about its impact on Lamberton and the Berwick skyline.

And James Waugh from Berwick questioned what point there was in erecting a met mast when, according to his interpretation of the Local Plan, turbines would not be permitted.

Councillor Michael Cook, member of East Berwickshire on Scottish Borders Council, said: “Looking from the (border) laybys to the North Sea one would look on to a guyed tubular metal mast of 50m in height, five times the height of the flag poles. Those flag poles are the distinctive markers of the boundary, and intended to give the location its particular sense of ‘specialness’. To allow them to be utterly dwarved would be extraordinary, quite apart from the negative impact on the border itself.”

However, no objections were raised by statutory consultees including Berwick Town Council, Highways Agency, English Heritage, Natural England or the county archaeologist. No response was received from Scottish Borders Council.

Advance Renewables has acknowledged the sensitivity of wind turbines and is committed to consulting with stakeholders to bring forward a scheme that does not harm the area. It recently moved the site of its proposed turbines from the west to the east side of the A1 to address planning concerns.

The turbines would generate enough electricity for 1,000 UK households.

 

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