Applause broke out after councillors unanimously rejected plans for a wind farm in the Eden Valley.
Members of Eden District Council’s planning applications committee went against the recommendations of their own officers in turning down proposals for the three turbine development at Hoff Moor near Appleby.
The turbines, 95m high to the tip of the blades, could have supplied power to more than 2,000 households for the next 25 years.
But councillors yesterday voted 13-0 against the plans after hearing from three local objectors.
Bill Thwaytes, who lives at Maulds Meaburn, urged councillors to dismiss the application.
He said allowing the development would set a precedent and produce a domino effect through the Eden Valley.
He said: “Let us not have industrial structures put in the middle of open countryside which can be seen for miles”.
Geoff Lightburn, a local parish councillor, said the proposed site was a very poor one. It would only provide an intermittent supply of energy. It would have a disastrous visual impact on the Eden landscape ““ 95m turbines could not be hidden behind 50ft trees.
He said the most effective places for building wind farms was at sea or near cities.
Muriel Rutherford said she had retired to the region from the Greater Manchester area, having been attracted by it’s peace and tranquility.
That was now being threatened by an “˜invidious form of creeping industrialisation’.
She said: “Three wind turbines at Hoff Moor will not save the world. Local people would not benefit one iota and tourism would be affected.”
The proposal to reject the application was put forward by Councillor Bryan Metz (Independent Group) and seconded by Councillor Michael Davidson (Independent).
Mr Metz said: “This government has rigged the system so officers could not fail to come to the decision they did ““ but I commend them for a superb report.
“I have agonised over this for a week but on balance I move to refuse this application on the basis of its effect on the landscape value.”
Councillor John Lynch (Conservative) said building the wind farm would be a backward step. Tourism was the future of the area.
Mr Davidson said he supported renewable energy provision but Hoff Moor was not the place.
It should be in industrial areas.
Among those attending yesterday’s council meeting were representatives from a pressure group called Community opposed to Shap Turbines (COST).
It is expected an application to build a large wind farm on land straddling the M6 close to the village will be submitted to Eden Council in the next few weeks.
A member of COST, Georgina Perkins, said she was delighted with the outcome of yesterday’s meeting.
By Dave Gudgeon
The Cumberland News
16 February 2007