September 14, 2006

Moresby, Arlecdon and Frizington areas earmarked for windmills

By Margaret Crosby

Moresby and Arlecdon/ Frizington have been named in a county planning document as areas suitable for wind energy schemes.

But the County Council document, still in draft form, will go out for full public consultation very soon.

The document is intended as a supplementary guide to planning policy on the vexed question of wind farms for the whole of Cumbria, but, noted Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn: “West Cumbria appears to be carrying the burden for the whole of the North West.”

Tuesday’s Executive meeting heard that there was still plenty of time to make changes to the document.

A map highlighted an area of moorland valleys and ridges east of Moresby Mosses and around Arlecdon/Frizington as being suitable, but it did not show all constraints on the development of wind energy schemes. Copeland’s own policies would ensure that other factors were taken into account when considering planning applications, the Executive was told.

A high proportion of this area is already designated as a landscape of county importance, so Copeland will be asking the county team who drew up the map to look again before the document is finalised and put forward for adoption in April 2007.

There will be wide consultation on the document, which takes account of recent government and regional policy requirements, before it is adopted.

The UK currently generates approximately 2% of its electricity from renewable sources. National targets require 10% by 2010 and 15% by 2015.

The North West supplies 1.3% of its generating capacity from renewable sources, of which almost half is supplied from wind turbines in Cumbria. Cumbria is identified as having the greatest potential contribution of new renewable energy, mainly from on and offshore wind power, biomass, landfill gas and small scale hydro.

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