Tyne & Wear

MP defends proposal for wind turbines at Northumberland farm

Image caption Mr Carmichael supports campaign group Save Berkeley Vale to prevent turbines in his constituency

An MP has defended criticism to build four wind turbines on his land in Northumberland, saying the proposed area "isn't particularly attractive".

Neil Carmichael, MP for Stroud, Gloucestershire, plans to build four wind turbines at his Bavington Hill Head Farm in Tynedale.

He has received criticism for the decision as he is also fighting against plans for turbines in his constituency.

But the MP said similarities between the two sites were "not that striking".

The Conservative MP has agreed a deal with an energy firm to build four 410ft (125m) turbines on his Northumberland farm.

Mr Carmichael supports Save Berkeley Vale, a campaign group fighting a wind turbine plan in his constituency.

He said: "Where the wind turbines would be to be built in Northumberland isn't particularly attractive.

Image caption The plans for Stinchcombe are near an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

"Berkeley Vale is surrounded by houses and villages and in fact thousands of people can see the windmills, whereas the site at Bavington Hill Head is only a handful of houses - it is a wilderness area and that is because there aren't many people living there."

Carol Brodie lives close to Bavington Hill Head Farm and is the chair for the Campaign for Renewable Energy Development in Tynedale.

She said: "I'm quite shocked that he doesn't think this is a particularly beautiful part of the country.

"These turbines are going to be less than 700 metres from my front door and there are other properties involved where the turbines are going to be even closer.

"I just think it's unfair of him to say it doesn't matter here because there's not many of us and there's not many houses."

The proposals in Gloucestershire involve building four 120m (394ft) tall wind turbines at Stinchcombe on the edge of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr Carmichael also said the proposed site in Northumberland was acceptable as it is "not designated as an outstanding natural beauty".

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