Two windfarms proposed for the Solway Plain have received more than 3,000 objections.
Five 107m (351ft) turbines planned for Warwick Hall Farm, south of Westnewton, near Aspatria, received 1,712 letters of objection and four of support.
Near Silloth, 989 people objected to four turbines planned for Hellrigg, known as Park Head Farm. There was also a petition signed by 381 protestors, and seven letters of support. Westnewton parish council chairman John Ryden said: “There is a very narrow strip of land in between the Lake District National Park and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and we’re scared we’re going to be swamped by these eyesores.
“There is government pressure to put them up, but they are pathetic in what they generate. With the UK’s increasing consumption of power, there needs to be something more substantial like nuclear, and more research into biomass.”
Mr Ryden said: “I was reasonably confident we could fight it off, until they built one at Bothel right on the edge of the national park.”
Objections came from both locals and visitors.
Holidaymaker Anna McLeod, of Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, said: “It would overshadow a beautiful Solway farming village. The so-called green benefits would not out-weigh the damage and destruction that this will bring to the area.
“It seems that windfarm developers will not be happy until every village from Carlisle to the Lakes is home to these things.”
Jeffrey Corrigan, managing director of Broadview Energy Developments Limited, said the power generated by the turbines should be enough to cover the energy needs of 6,989 households a year, and would assist in the fight against climate change.
The deadline for comments to Allerdale Council has been extended until December 17.
A decision will not be made before February. Energy giant Npower paid Allerdale Council a fee of £50,000 to apply to build four 121m (396ft) turbines at Park Head Farm.
The Silloth-on-Solway Action Committee, which formed in 2004 to oppose a previous application, re-formed to fight this action.
Holme Low parish council was one of the objectors. Clerk Wendy Jameson said: “The road past Park Head is a cycle route for tourists and any development would have a serious effect.
“The area is important for migrating and wintering birds. 90 per cent of birds fly at the height of the turbines, so there is a high risk of fatalities.
“The huge amount of concrete and aggregate involved in the development would put a strain on the already poorly maintained roads. And what effect would the road closures have on emergency services?
“Mawbray, Causewayhead, Allonby, Calvo and others would all be affected.”
Npower Renewables Ltd said the Hellrigg windfarm would generate enough clean electricity each year to meet the average needs of some 3,950 homes, while offsetting the annual release of up to 15,970 tonnes of the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide.
Public consultation on this application has ended. It is due to be discussed at Allerdale’s planning committee on December 11.
By Julie Armstrong
30 November 2007
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