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No limit on wind turbines

The number of wind turbines in West Cumbria is likely to rocket in the next few years.

There is no set limit on the turbines that can be erected in the area, and Allerdale council’s planning officer, Ric Outhwaite, said targets for wind farms set by the government are being raised once they are reached.

Villagers from Dearham, Tallentire and Gilcrux met on Wednesday night in Dearham to find out how to combat proposals for wind farms in their area.

Proposals for 23 new turbines are in place for Dearham, Tallentire, Oughterside, Westnewton, Prospect and Wardhall.

Mr Outhwaite said: “If the companies behind the projects were not so commercially driven and out to make money then they could work together and there would be a lot less confusion and anger between residents.

“Turbines are a difficult and emotive issue. When does the land go from having turbines on it, to being dominated by turbines?

“They say that the turbines can be harmful, but West Cumbria is doing a lot in terms of renewable energy.

“And if the turbines are harmful then they are only a temporary measure, and will be taken down in 20 years.”

Villagers, at the Mission Room in Dearham, heard from veteran anti-windfarm campaigners Mike Hall and Dave Brierely.

Mr Hall said: “This area is being held under siege by the wind industry.

“The problem is that wind power is barely scratching the surface in British energy.

“It would be more effective if we each saved 10 per cent of the energy we use at home, by turning off plugs and lights when we don’t need them on.”

He added that wind turbines did not run at their full potential until they were hit by wind of 30 miles an hour and the problem for the onshore turbines was that most wind in Britain was clocked at between 11 to 18 miles an hour.

Mr Hall said: “Our countryside is simply being destroyed as a political gesture.”

Mr Brierley, who has campaigned for eight years against turbines near his village near Barrow said: “One of the main problems is that there is no legislation in this country that covers wind farms.

“My message to residents is, start now, fight the plans as soon as you hear about them, because once the turbines are built, it is too late.”

Workington MP Tony Cunningham is also against an excess of turbines in the area.

Mr Cunningham said: “I was opposed to the turbines at Wardhall and I am opposed to the plans to put turbines at Tallentire.

“The cumulative affect needs to be taken seriously. There are so many that are having real environmental and social issues. They are a scar on the landscape.”

On Wednesday, September 25, Novera, the company wanting to erect the wind farm at Town Head, Dearham, is to hold an information day at the Methodist Church in Dearham from 2pm until 8pm.

Times & Star

21 September 2007