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MP slams ‘worthless windfarm’ plans and backs action group  

MP David Maclean says “worthless” windfarm proposals are now dropping on his constituents almost every month.

His comments were made ahead of a public meeting tonight about plans to build three giant turbines near Cumwhinton.

Villagers, who have launched an action group to help fight the Newlands windfarm proposals, want to gauge public opinion ahead of the planning application being submitted.

Mr Maclean, MP for Penrith and the Border, has given the action group his backing, saying he is sick of wind companies flocking to the area.

He said “I am fed up with new worthless windfarm proposals dropping on my constituents at almost one a month.

“We all saw during the big power cut a few weeks ago that not one single windfarm was able to contribute to our national electricity needs.

“Land-based windfarms destroy the visual environment, give us none of the electricity we actually need, and are merely a rip-off on the taxpayer considering the amount of subsidy they get.”

Mr Maclean added: “I will give my full support for any action group formed at Cumwhinton to oppose yet another eyesore proposal on the Cumbrian landscape.”

Allison Stamper, who formed the action group, said the 115-metre turbines will be visible from right across Carlisle.

She said: “It’s not just going to affect Cumwhinton – it’s going to affect all of the surrounding area. They will be seen from all around Carlisle.

“Look how Dixon’s Chimney stands out. These turbines are going to have the same impact. They keep trying to promote historic Carlisle but these turbines are going be the first thing you see when you come off the motorway.

“Another thing that worries me is whether they will set a precedent for more. Which village is next? If this gets the go-ahead they could end up right down the M6 corridor.”

Mrs Stamper agrees that renewable energy is needed but claims turbines aren’t reliable and these are not in the right place. Instead she wants to see more investment in tidal energy and believes windfarms should be built out at sea or in industrial areas.

The firm behind the proposals, Bolsterstone, is expected to submit a formal application later this month following the public exhibition in the village at the end of May.

It says the windfarm would bring £15,000 a year to the local economy and help solve the UK’s energy problems.

But Mrs Stamper and other residents have vowed to fight the plans and want to see as many people as possible at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 8pm at Cumwhinton Village Hall.

A secret study claims that Cumbria could accommodate 200 new wind turbines.

The North West Regional Assembly argues that parts of the northwest, west and south of the county – where there are already wind farms – could accommodate more.

It has also identified four new areas for “significant” wind-farm developments but is not saying where.

It is believed that one is north-east of Brampton towards RAF Spadeadam.

The four sites are named in a draft renewable energy study.

As work is still in progress, this is not a public document and is not covered by freedom of information legislation.

A spokesman for the Assembly said: “It is an unfinished research study. It is not our policy to publish the discussions and formulations of unfinished studies.

“The strategy will, however, be published later this summer and we will be happy to discuss it then.”

Cumbria County Council has been consulted on the draft and has serious concerns.

By Pamela McGowan

The Cumberland News

13 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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