A proposed windfarm near Aspatria has had more than 400 signatures of support – from people in Workington.
Broadview Energy Limited applied to Allerdale council in September to erect five 107m (351ft) turbines at Warwick Hall Farm, Westnewton. The company says they will generate enough clean renewable energy to supply 6,989 households a year.
After more than 1,700 letters of objection to the plans, Broadview set out to survey support. In two days they collected around 430 signatures from residents and visitors to Workington, which have been sent to Allerdale council.
The letter, which strongly encourages the planning committee to give the windfarm approval, reads: “It is in line with the national policy to combat climate change and forms part of the government’s strategy of developing diverse, indigenous and secure energy supplies.
“The North West Regional Assembly identified Cumbria as needing to install some 210 megawatts of onshore wind by 2010, rising to 247 megawatts by 2015 to enable the region to meet its renewable energy targets. Currently Cumbria has renewable generating capacity of around 80 megawatts.”
Broadview was responding to a letter-writing campaign by local residents opposed to the Westnewton Wind Project. Most feared that a windfarm would destroy the area’s beauty and damage the important tourist trade.
Broadview managing director Jeffery Corrigan said: “This demonstrates that, whilst there is opposition to the project, it is very local and does not represent the views of the wider Allerdale and Cumbrian populations. Furthermore, Workington residents who have experienced living with turbines nearby do not find them objectionable.”
Westnewton parish council chairman John Ryden said: “They wouldn’t have got a very good welcome in Westnewton, Silloth or anywhere affected by the threat of turbines. I think in Workington they just think, ‘Well we’re surrounded by them so why shouldn’t everyone else be’.”
Broadview says it chose to carry out the survey in Workington because “it is a large shopping area which attracts people from all over Allerdale and therefore gave us the ability to talk to as many local people as possible.”
It adds: “The project impacts on a wide community and we wanted the views of the whole community and not just the people of Westnewton, who we had previously met at our exhibition in October.”
By Julie Armstrong
21 December 2007
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