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Windpower battle shifts to new front  

Anti-windfarm campaigners already locked in battle over plans for 27 turbines at Tebay are expanding their campaign to lobby against fresh wind power proposals for Eden.

Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunedale, aka FELLS, are staging a meeting at Appleby Grammar School next Tuesday (November 4) to galvanise local opposition to plans for three turbines at Hoff Moor, south of Appleby.

The application from Appleby farmer Harold Bainbridge, is modest compared to that submitted by West Coast Energy which envisages 115-metre turbines strung out across six kilometres of unspoilt fell between Bretherdale and Borrowdale. Mr Bainbridge declined to comment.

Yet many local residents are just as determined to see off the plans for 95-metre turbines at Hoff Moor.

All but two residents of Drybeck, the small village most affected by the proposal, attended a heated Bandleyside Parish Council meeting arguing that the turbines would be a blot on the landscape and reduce the value of their homes.

Objector Myles Renshaw who lives about a mile-and-a-half from the application site, said the windfarm would ruin a beautiful view across the Eden Valley from Orton Scar as well as distracting drivers on the B6260 road to Kendal.

“It’s not worth spoiling the countryside for the amount of electricity this would generate,” he said.

FELLS hopes its meeting will generate enough official objections to persuade planning authority Eden District Council to oppose the plans, which would automatically trigger a full public inquiry.

Speakers will include biologist Dr Michael Hall. Well-known windfarm opponent, chairman of Cumbria Tourist Board, and Gardener’s Question Time presenter Eric Robson has also been invited. Dr Hall said the gathering would offer campaign advice to local people along with information on issues including turbine noise plus the impact of windfarms on property prices, tourism and landscape.

“We stand to lose a staggering amount of money from the loss of tourism by the proliferation of windfarms,” said Dr Hall. “It should have been made clear that these are no go areas around the national park. There should be a public inquiry into all windfarm applications in essentially tourist areas”.

Meanwhile, the gloves came off in the fight between opponents of the Whinash windfarm near Tebay and developers West Coast Energy Ltd. The power firm lodged a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority about “misleading” material put out by protest group No Whinash Windfarm. It particularly took offence to an image showing 41 turbines superimposed on to a picture of the site, rather than the 27 actually proposed. No Whinash Windfarm said the image showed the number of turbines the firm had originally applied for and the group did not have the money to reprint its material.

– Tuesday’s meeting is being held at Appleby Grammar School at 7.30pm.

By Jennie Dennett

The Westmoreland Gazette

29 October 2003

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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