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Northumberland wind turbine bid rejected by Government minister

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An application for a wind turbine to be installed near the Duddo Stone Circle in Northumberland has been refused after a three-year legal battle.

The proposed turbine site was two miles away from the 4,000-year-old stone formation, which is often compared to Stonehenge.

3R Energy Solutions – a Scottish firm – submitted the initial turbine planning application to Northumberland County Council, which was accompanied by 14 letters from local supporters.

However, a total of 90 objections were raised by nearby residents, as well as three parish councils and an archaeologist, with a popular point of contention being that the turbine’s location would have a detrimental impact on the local beauty spot, which is visited by almost 9,000 tourists each year.

The application was originally rejected by the council’s planning committee but, following an appeal by 3R Energy, another planning inspector visited the site and overturned the original decision.

Following the company’s successful appeal, Claire and Frank Dakin, who own the farm that the stone circle sits on, launched a legal challenge at the High Court, with financial support from local people.

The Government took the decision to withdraw before the High Court hearing took place, after deciding that it was not able to legally defend the inspector’s decision.

A new planning inspector was then selected to handle the appeal, but Greg Clark – minister for communities and local government – was given the power to make the final decision.

As a conclusion to three years’ worth of appeals and challenges, the final planning inspector recommended that a turbine should not be built at the site, and Mr Clark has agreed and denied permission as a result.