Wind farm protestors in Belford are warning that the transport of turbine
components could ‘interfere severely’ with village life.

Members of the Middleton Burn Action Group (MBAG), which opposes any wind
development in the Belford area, have raised concerns about the impact
traffic to the proposed nine-turbine Belford Burn development would have on
the village.

The application submitted by developer EnergieKontor shows that the route
for large components would be through Belford village centre, down North
Bank and into West Street, with loads “oversailing” pavements in the Market
Place.

MBAG chair Chris Craddock said: “It is clear from the plans that these
mammoth loads, many almost 40 metres long – as long as four double-decker
buses end to end, will cause severe disruption to the village.”

Having studied EnergieKontor’s plans, MBAG say that should they be
approved, the centre of the village would have to be “ripped up” to allow
the enormous vehicles to get through. A bollard which protects the
pedestrian area would have to be pulled out, and two flower planters would
be removed. Three flowering cherry trees would also be uprooted. MBAG have
also highlighted road safety concerns.

Mr Craddock added: “The destruction of the village centre to allow turbine
components through is just one example of EnergieKontor’s total disdain for
Belford, its surroundings and its people.”

Energiekontor said the delivery period for turbine components through the
village would only last for one to two months. Project manager Michael
Briggs said: “We would need to temporarily remove some items of street
furniture but would reinstate them in no worse a condition than we found them.

“The intention is that there would be no real sign of the works having
taken place. To say that the centre of the village would be ‘destroyed’ is
therefore a bit unfair.”

Mr Briggs added that it was important for the works to be viewed in their
wider context. “If the Belford Burn Wind Farm went ahead, the community
fund generated would be the largest ever fund to come from an individual
wind farm in Northumberland,” he said.

“This substantial community fund could be used for a variety of projects
and initiatives in the local area, including making improvements to the
market square and the village generally. In many ways, the wind farm
actually has the potential to enhance the market square, not threaten it.”


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