After over a decade of planning battles a government inspector has over ruled local opposition and approved a new wind farm near Pica.
Wind Prospects Ltd has been told it can go ahead and build five wind turbines at Fairfield Farm, about a mile from Pica village.
Copeland council and local councillors and former mayor Willis Metherell have resisted the siting of the windfarm, starting in 1995 when the developers first tried for 13 turbines.
This was then reduced to a bid for 10 turbines which was rejected by a planning inspector in 1997. The latest decision is final and leaves objectors with no appeal option.
The approved turbines will be set at 182 metres on rising land to the west of Pica village.
The planning inspector, John Woolcock, concluded in his decision report that: “I have found that the proposal would have significant local visual effects and would have a significant impact upon the character of the surrounding area within three kilometres of the site.
“I consider these would amount to significant adverse visual effects for the purposes of council policy EG1.
“However this harm and policy conflict must be weighed against the benefits of renewable energy.
“This means that renewable energy projects are regarded “favourably” if located outside the Lake District National Park or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
He also regarded the adverse visual impact as “limited”.
News of the ruling against Copeland was given to yesterday afternoon’s meeting of the Copeland Planning Panel.
28 May 2008
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