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Lune Valley gears up for windfarm battle

People in the Lune Valley are being urged to fight plans for a windfarm just one and a half miles from Kirkby Lonsdale’s Market Square.

The Friends of Eden, Lakeland & Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS) campaign group claims energy giant E-on wants to build seven 400-foot turbines between the villages of High Biggins, Whittington and Hutton Roof.

A planning application has not yet been submitted but FELLS believe the firm are in the final stages of agreeing rental of the site with the landowners.

Kirkby Lonsdale town councillors recently voted 4-3 against objecting to other plans for six wind turbines on moorland at Armistead, two miles from Old Hutton.

A FELLS spokesman said residents in the town would be seriously affected by the latest proposals, both during construction and through the noise of the turbines and the flicker when sunlight reflects off the blades.

He added that Kirkby’s role as a tourist gateway to the Lake District would be “seriously compromised” and that house values in the area would fall.

Mike Hall, vice chairman of FELLS, said Kirkby Lonsdale residents had been “let down” by the town council’s decision not to oppose the Armistead windfarm despite their being warned of other plans in the pipeline.

FELLS claims that while seven turbines could generate 40,000 megawatt hours a year, new coal and gas-fired power plants would be needed as back-up for when the wind was not strong.

It says customers would be indirectly paying extra through hidden subsidies to windfarm operators.

Coun Alan Day, chairman of Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council, said: “Until we get a planning application these are only plans in the pipeline and there is nothing to discuss.”

Deputy chairman, Coun Allan Muirhead, agreed but hit back at the criticism from FELLS.

“A warning that other applications may be forthcoming is no way to influence a decision on a specific application,” he said.

“Any councillor worth their salt makes a decision based on the
facts in front of them, not suppositions.”

An E-on spokesman said that the scheme was at “a very early

“As a responsible developer, we always develop our plans with the greatest consideration for the community and environment and we always aim to keep local people fully informed about our plans,” he said.

By Rob Devey

Lancaster Guardian

12 June 2008