Plans for a controversial windfarm at Pica have been refused by Copeland councillors, but campaigners against the proposals will need to wait another month before they can celebrate or commiserate a final decision.
Planning officers recommended that the proposals should be approved, but the planning committee voted six to two against the construction of five 81-meter tall turbines at Fairfield Farm.
Because they went against the officer’s recommendations, the plans will automatically go before the planning committee again next month, allowing for a cooling-off period, and a chance for officers to review legal implications of the decision.
Campaigners are now waiting with baited breath as they have been battling against proposed windfarms at the site since 1997, but chairman of Distington Parish Council, John Bowman, has vowed to keep up the pressure.
He said: “The people of Distington don’t want it, and it is unfair that Copeland would even consider going against what the people want.”
The latest proposal for six turbines was withdrawn in January 2006, but then re-submitted by Bristol-based Wind Prospect Ltd in October, with the number of turbines reduced to five.
Residents opposed the plans, and sent 20 letters of objection to Copeland council saying it would be a blot on the landscape and a source of noise pollution.
Distington parish council also launched a formal objection, and the plans became the subject of a public meeting in January.
At Wednesday’s planning meeting, Councillor Norman Clarkson urged the panel to reject the ‘insane’ developments.
Pica resident Julia Lynn also spoke in opposition, saying: “We do not want to see the landscape littered with new industry.”
However, Mr Maddox, of Wind Prospect Ltd, said the development was necessary to help meet the national need for renewable energy.
Some residents also felt that windfarms should be supported as a clean source of energy for future generations.
Distington local and former parish councillor Jim Taylor, 84, said: “I am 100 per cent for the windfarm because it is a quiet and clean way of producing electricity, and far cleaner than nuclear. People have been saying they will be loud and will cause vibrations, but that’s rubbish.
“I walk right up to the windfarm at Micklam and you can’t hear a thing.”
By Ben Meller
9 March 2007
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