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New turbine plans for Bothel

Two wind turbines near Bothel are soon to be joined by seven more.

Just on the edge of the national park, the 230ft-high structures can be seen from Bassenthwaite and other Lake District beauty spots.

They are part of a £7.5m development on Wharrels Hill, which was approved on appeal in 2002 after Allerdale council turned it down.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of April and the development should produce enough energy to power the equivalent of all households in Cockermouth, Aspatria and Wigton.

Each turbine weighs 112 tonnes and will be transported in pieces by lorry.

Carlisle’s Story Construction built concrete bases for the turbines and a team of 25 engineers and electricians are now on site building the structures.

Original plans for a 150ft-high viewing tower and a visitor centre were abandoned after the project was sold by National Wind Power to a consortium in 2005.

The parish council of Bothel and Threapland, which was opposed to the wind farm, has been given £50,000 compensation to spend on the community.

Vice-chairman Victor de-Quincey said the council was consulting residents on how the money should be spent.

Mr de-Quincey said: “We negotiated the compensation up from £20,000. We have already had 24 proposals put forward and we’re considering using the money to improve the village hall.

“But when people see how big these turbines are, they might want us to spend it on trees to screen them.”

The towers are 15ft shorter than the maximum allowed under planning permission but the blades are the maximum 90ft-long.

Allerdale council planning manager, Ric Outhwaite, said: “I’m now challenging wind farm applications on their proportions. By shortening the tower, it risks them looking short and fat.

“I want to start pinning developers down on exact sizes instead of talking only about maximums.”

Meanwhile, a plan to build five turbines near Allonby is likely to be determined by Allerdale council next month.

Nuon Renewables’ bid for five, 320ft-high turbines between the village and Westnewton has attracted 1,000 objections.

Villagers in Prospect, Allerby, Gilcrux, Oughterside, Bullgill and Crosby Villa were surveyed about plans by three local landowners for six 100-metre masts being built between Prospect and Crosby Villa.

Of the 150 households asked, 97 per cent said they did not want them.

A meeting will be held next Wednesday, March 21, in Gilcrux and anyone concerned about the turbines is being asked to attend.

timesandstar.co.uk

16 March 2007