Villagers were stirred into action last night against the latest plans for a windfarm in west Cumbria.
Wind power firm Novera Energy Ltd wants to build up to eight turbines – each measuring 105 metres to the blade tip – on land at Townhead, situated between Dearham, Dovenby and Tallentire.
More than 60 residents, concerned about the visual impact the development could have on the surrounding countryside as well as possible effects on their health, attended a public meeting in Dearham last night.
They listened to presentations by wind turbine expert Mike Hall, who said windfarms did not produce enough electricity or reduce enough carbon emissions to be worthwhile, and David Brierley, who spoke of the negative impact a windfarm had had on his south Cumbrian community.
Mr Hall warned those present that they were “under siege” from the wind industry.
He said: “Our countryside is being destroyed as a political gesture.”
He added the country as a whole could reduce carbon emissions to a similar level as that predicted from windfarms if people just took more care to switch off lights and electrical appliances when they are not needed.
Mr Brierley spoke of companies making a “lunatic dash” for windfarms which was creating more “victims” like his community; complaining of headaches and dizziness due to sleep deprivation and anxiety from the noise they make.
He said: “Our diabolical situation has dragged on for eight years. Nobody should have to go through what we’ve had to endure.”
Both men advised the villagers attending last night’s meeting to fight the proposed windfarm, before the planning application has even been lodged, through a targeted campaign uniting with other local protest groups and lobbying Allerdale councillors.
Joyce Percival, chair of Dearham parish council, said west Cumbria was in danger of being “surrounded and beleaguered” by more and more windfarms.
She said: “The worst thing that we can do as villages is to sit back and say or do nothing. We’ve now got a core action group who are busy trying to co-ordinate things for the village.
“The next big push for all of us is next Wednesday when Novera Energy will be in the village.”
She urged villagers to make their feelings known at Novera’s public consultation sessions in Dearham’s Methodist Church Hall, on Wednesday, and at Dovenby Hall on September 27.
Novera Energy is expected to submit a planning application for its Townhead windfarm proposal in November.
Meanwhile another wind power firm, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd, is likely to lodge its planning application for six 100-metre turbines at Hill Farm, between Tallentire and Gilcrux, next month.
By Daniel Cattanach
20 September 2007
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