Campaigners who helped to defeat plans for a windfarm near Allonby are rightly refusing to rest on their laurels.
A huge number of objections helped to persuade Allerdale council not to allow turbines in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
But they know that the Government’s policy to have 20 per cent of all UK energy provided by renewable sources by 2020 leaves the door open to more applications and appeals.
The campaigners therefore feel that this victory in their own backyard should act as a “˜wake-up call’ in the fight to stop future developments – nearby rural Westnewton, Tallentire and Oughterside are already being targeted by the wind companies.
So far, Allerdale council – as the planning authority – has been sensible, and sensitive, in its approach to wind turbines.
It is prepared to listen to reasonable objections and to do its utmost to protect beautiful landscapes that contribute to the area’s burgeoning tourist economy.
As we’ve said before, the jury remains out on the contribution that wind power can make to our energy needs, and it is an issue that sharply divides opinion.
But Allerdale has shown a balanced approach; while it goes along with Government policy by hosting its ratio of turbines, it is determined not to allow them to be placed at random.
The threat to Cumbria’s unique landscape demands that local people and their councils continue to have their say.
So, more power to this sensible approach, we say; although at the same time we acknowledge that we cannot do a blind thing about the proposed Robin Rigg windfarm out in the Solway Firth.
The largest off-shore wind turbine development in the UK will have the greatest physical impact of all on West Cumbria – yet its go ahead has been determined by Scottish politicians sitting up in Edinburgh.
That’s another reason for keeping political power in local hands.
13 April 2007
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