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Must take care on windfarms  

St Gregory and St Patrick’s Catholic Infant School in Mirehouse has already won national recognition for its green policies.

And on Monday, weather and logistics allowing, the latest phase in headteacher Anthony Dwyer’s bid to turn the school into an eco-friendly centre will come to fruition when a 12.5m wind turbine is put up at the school.

The installation of the turbine comes shortly after Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling unveiled new rules aimed at fast-tracking energy projects such as wind farms through the planning process.

Cumbria already has 11 windfarms and up to 10 more are earmarked by 2015, more than anywhere else in the north west.

Given the new regulations, which require objectors to make their case within just 120 days, it becomes ever more vital for robust planning guidance to be in place to ensure the county’s six district councils don’t approve wind farms which would undermine Cumbria’s landscape-dependent tourism.

A public consultation on the guidance currently being drawn up by Cumbria County Council ends on December 8.

Meanwhile, as the wider debate continues over the value of wind power in a county heavily committed to the nuclear industry, the Mirehouse turbine could prove to be the type of relatively low-impact “clean” energy production best suited to many parts of our county.


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