Council planners are set to recommend the construction of a controversial windfarm near a picturesque Eden town despite widespread unrest in the local community.
Eden District Council’s planning committee will tomorrow (Thursday, February 15) consider an application to build three wind turbines on land at Hoff Moor south of Appleby with planning officers recommending that permission for the scheme be granted.
During the consultation process, the majority of local parish councils were against the scheme due to the “detrimental effect” it would have on the landscape.
The council also received 35 letters of objection from people worried about potential issues such as noise and visual pollution and the adverse impact it could have on the tourism industry in the area.
Dr Helen Dziemidko, of the Community Opposed to Shap Turbines (COST) group, said: “The turbines proposed for Hoff, if built, will have a major impact on the countryside in some of the most unspoilt parts of the Eden Valley.
“To justify three huge towers with blades 60 metres in diameter so close to areas of national importance should require evidence that it is a meaningful contribution to slowing climate change, and that evidence simply does not exist.”
If built, the turbines would be 95 metres high and would generate 3.9MW of electricity, which would be enough to supply up to 2,340 households.
The turbines would be built on farmland which is set within a designated Landscape of County Importance. However, the applicants, a farming family, say they will be forced out of sheep farming if they are not allowed to diversify and the windfarm will provide them with a guaranteed income for the next 25 years.
A letter from the South Lakeland Friends of the Earth, in support of the scheme, said that windfarms were an important alternative to fossil fuels.
“Land-based wind power is a clean, renewable form of energy which produces no carbon or sulphur dioxide during operation and, at the end of their life, they leave no legacy of pollution for future generations.
“Wind power has many advantages and few real problems, especially on designated land. The majority of the UK population are in favour of wind power and surveys show that tourists are not discouraged by their presence.”
By Messenger News Desk
The Westmorland Gazette
14 February 2007
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