November 1, 2007

Famed mountaineers join wind farm protest

Two of the world’s most famous mountaineers have joined a campaign to prevent the building of a controversial wind farm in Cumbria.

The proposed £8m scheme, by Berrier Hill Wind Energy, would see nine 60-metre high turbines built on the boundary of the Lake District National Park, near Greystoke.

The plan has provoked strong local opposition, with objectors claiming that the turbines – which would be bigger than Big Ben – would obscure views and put off tourists.

Now mountaineers Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott, who live in the Lake District’s Northern Fells, have joined the protest. They will be appearing with a large model windmill, erected by locals, close to Blencathra, to raise the profile of the campaign.

They say they want to “highlight the fragility and sensitivity of the area and preserve its unique vista for future generations, and in the process keep the Northern Fells a breathing space for the nation”.

Sir Chris is Britain’s best-known mountaineer and Doug Scott was the first Briton to climb Everest.

Fourteen people have objected to the Berrier Hill plan, which it is hoped will provide enough green electricity to power 12,581 homes. The wind farm would play a role in the Government reaching its target of 10% of electricity being generated from renewable resources by 2010.

A spokesman for Berrier Hill Wind Energy said an independent assessment of the wind farm found that there would not be an adverse effect.

“No nationally-designated landscape interest will be adversely affected and the wind farm’s influence will be low,” she said. “There will be a local visual impact, but if Government targets on renewable energy are to be met, it must be accepted that wind turbines have a place in the landscape.”

She said the development would respect the landscape and the effects would be very localised.

Press Association

The Gazette

1 November 2007

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