November 16, 2007

Cumbria set for its 100th major turbine

Cumbria is on course for its 100th commercial scale wind turbine.

But that number would actually double very quickly if developers did not run into so much opposition across the county.

Many more turbines are planned offshore – with massive schemes in the pipeline for the Solway and Morecambe Bay.

Figures obtained by The Cumberland News show that there are 14 separate windfarms built and operating on shore in Cumbria.

They comprise 92 wind turbines and among the most recent developments is one that sits on high ground alongside the A595 close to Bothel.

A further eight turbines have planning consent but aren’t yet built. Seven represent an extension to an existing windfarm in west Cumbria.

The final consent is for a single turbine on the Pirelli tyre factory site in Carlisle so that may become the 100th.

A further 28 turbines, at four separate sites, are proposed and form part of planning applications while a further 17 turbines have been refused planning permission but are in the appeal system.

They are on another four separate sites and could be granted permission by a planning inspector. One is at Hoff, near Appleby – a development turned down by Eden Council.

There are also a further 40 or so turbines, within six schemes, that could become the subject of formal planning applications in the next few months.

One of the largest of those is likely to be the proposed windfarm across the M6 motorway near to Shap.

These proposed windfarms are all sited outside the national landscape designation of the Lake District National Park, Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Solway Coast, and the Arnside and Silverdale and North Pennines Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Meanwhile, huge steel tubes for construction of the foundations of the Robin Rigg windfarm, seven miles offshore at Maryport, have started to arrive at Workington.

The port will store them until they can be taken out to the site of what will become Europe’s largest offshore windfarm.

The government has just given the go-ahead to a farm comprising up to 152 turbines off Barrow.

By Dave Gudgeon

The Cumberland News

16 November 2007

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