Light on Wark Common turbine visible for 50 miles

A PROPOSED turbine at Wark Common is set to be the first in the north of England to be fitted with aviation lighting - to the fury of local councillors.

Plans for the 71m tall turbine were approved by Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee last month.

However, Northumberland County Councillor Dougie Watkin is adamant that approval was only granted on condition that further talks be held with the Ministry of Defence to remove the lighting from the plan.

Planning manager Peter Rutherford confirmed that those talks had taken place but the MoD had insisted that the lighting be retained on the turbine.

Councillor Watkin demanded the application be debated again by the committee but Mr Rutherford explained that planning consent had already been issued.

“This would be the only turbine in the north of England which is lit up,” said Councillor Watkin. “This is one of the most rural parts of Northumberland yet it’s going to be visible for at least 50 miles from every viewpoint in the eastern Borders.

“There are turbines within a mile of this one on the other side of the border which are not lit so I can’t for the life of me understand why the MoD are insisting on this being lit. If it’s that dangerous it should not be there.

“I can’t believe officers have consented this given what we said at the last committee meeting.”

Councillor Anthony Murray added: “I believe it’s got to come back to committee because when we discussed it last month we didn’t have the information that it had to be lit.”

Mr Rutherford explained: “We’ve had confirmaton from the defence infrastructure organisation on behalf of the MoD that they require that the turbine is fitted with aviation lumination and that the approval has been issued with conditions attached.”