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Windfarm protesters 'confident of victory'  

Protesters fighting proposals for a windfarm on Orton and Tebay’s horizon are confident they can win the public inquiry next year.

Local campaigners and energy giants The Renewable Development Company (RDC) are to lock horns at a public inquiry on April 19 in the final battle over the proposed Whinash Windfarm development.

Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Patricia Hewitt has just announced the date for the much-anticipated public inquiry a move that has been welcomed on both sides of the bitter divide.

Kyle Blue, chairman of the Say No to the Whinash Windfarm committee, said the inquiry would provide it with a higher platform to stress fears about what would be the biggest on-shore wind farm in England.

The pressure group argues that putting up 27 turbines that stand 380ft tall will scar an unspoiled landscape and open the floodgates to similar developments across Cumbria.

Its members say it will damage rare and delicate upland habitats; hinder the local economy by deterring tourists; and dramatically devaluing nearby properties.

Mr Blue, who lives in nearby Orton, said he was confident that his committee could win the inquiry into the project, which he said was more about money than the environment.

“Yes, this scheme will produce green energy but at tremendous cost to the environment and landscape,” he told the Messenger.

“We all support green issues but this is not about being green, this is about money.

“The scheme would have the potential to earn RDC £12 million each year in operating profits.

“And if this proceeds there will be nothing to stop the random development of wind farms throughout some of the loveliest parts of Cumbria outside the Lake District National Park.”

Mr Blue was one of the 400 protesters from across the country that gathered at a protest walk in Greenholme, near Orton, in July.

Among them was TV personality Professor David Bellamy, who branded the development an “economic catastrophe” and threatened to chain himself to a turbine if it was given the go-ahead.

Stephen Malloy, of RDC a privately owned wind energy company specialising in the planning and development of renewable energy facilities also welcomed the public inquiry as a “sensible” platform for debate.

“This will now give an appropriate opportunity to sensibly present the facts concerning this proposed development rather than the misinformation that has blighted this issue,” he said.

“The inquiry will enable the suitability of Whinash as a wind farm to be presented and will take into consideration all the merits of our case, and of those opposing this project, to be thoroughly examined.”

“The inquiry is also to consider the extent in which this proposed development is consistent with the Government’s objectives and policy on energy as set out in the White Paper Our energy future-creating a low carbon economy’.”

By Luke Dicicco

The Westmoreland Gazette

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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