Westnewton residents claim that a company wanting to build a wind farm near the village has applied for planning permission without consulting them.
Broadview Energy recently submitted an application for eight turbines after meeting with the parish council.
John Ryden, parish council chairman, said: “We agreed to meet with Broadview Energy and they brought along a slide show. We asked them questions but they couldn’t answer them and they took this as a consultation.
“We couldn’t believe it when we were given the document saying that Broadview had now applied for planning permission.”
A Broadview spokesman said the company had discussed the application, made to Allerdale council,with the parish council and some members of the public had been at the meeting.
“They expressed their views and we have since made amendments to our original plans,” he said.
On Tuesday, Broadview will hold an exhibition in Westnewton village hall.
The spokesman said: “Broadview directors will be able to answer any questions that people have.
“The exhibition will detail exactly what our plans are.”
Andrew Johnson, parish council vice-chairman, said: “We are worried about the visual impact and the density of these turbines.
“West Cumbria is a beautiful part of the world and the danger is we will end up with lots more turbines in the area.”
It is estimated that Broadview has already spent £250,000 getting to this stage of development and the prospect of a legal fight is worrying the council.
Mr Ryden said: “With all the money they have already spent, we would find it next to impossible to fight them on a financial level.
“The position we are in at the moment puts us right in the firing line.
“Broadview are ahead of other wind farm companies, in terms of their application. If accepted, then it could start the beginning of many more being put up.”
Mr Johnson claimed that if the turbines were built at their planned location, on a hill, the masts would be 140 metres above the village.
“This will cause shadow flickering. They will also be up-wind from the village so we will hear them all the time. There will be no escaping them,” he added.
George Brekon, of Silver Bank, Westnewton, said: “The plans have been dumped on us quite quickly.
“I am worried about the noise they will make and the shadow flicker they will produce.
“I like to see progress but I do not see these turbines as progress. They are ineffective and with the level of wind we have here, they won’t produce much energy.”
Bill James, of Bank Mill Nursery, near Beckfoot, said: “There seems to be a lack of communication between the various councils.
“As soon as there is unity then the sooner we will be able to stop the desecration of the Cumbrian landscape.”
12 October 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding