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MIDDLE HILL SITE

The site which is grassland, heather and moorland is located approximately 2km south of Elsdon, based around Middle Hill. 

To the south west the site borders the A696 on a section between Otterburn to the north-west and south-east to Kirkwhelpington.

To the north east it borders the National Park boundary, with only a 650m between this boundary and the nearest turbine.

Close to the site there are two recognised areas :

Mill & Whiskershiel Burns Site Special Scientific Interest 2km to the east

Simmonside Hills Special Conservation Area 3km north east

The developers claim that Middle Hill is one of the most suitable sites in the North East, if this is so then why is this the first application to be made?

Could it be that they have spotted an opportunity as the site is located next to various other wind farm sites? The fact that the owner of the land lives in Scotland and therefore conveniently avoids the visual impact and personal frictions of the site's immediate community may also not be irrelevant!

  • Ray Wind Farm that bounds the site to the South East has permission for the construction of 16 wind turbines, which was approved at inquiry. 
  • Greenrigg  located approx. 7.6km to the north gained permission for 18 turbines at inquiry, a discharge of conditions is currently underway.
  • The proposed Kirkharle wind farm comprising of four turbines is located 8.5km South East of site, this is scheduled for public inquiry end of July.
  • Kirkheaton is an installed development of 3 turbines, located 14.3km South East.
  • Steadings wind farm , located 7.2km south of site was refused permission at inquiry for the construction of 16 turbines.

In terms of the burden of responsibility in contributing to the nation's green energy quota, Northumberland is doing more than its fair share having already reached its 20% quota outlined to be achieved by 2020. Interestingly, the constituency (in Hampshire) of Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change has, wait for it, NONE!