Moota’s wind turbines dominate the skyline to such an extent that they’ve become something of a symbolic gateway to West Cumbria – our ‘angels of the west’ as it were.
Let’s face it, when people from away think of this area they do now associate it with wind farms.
The masts dominate all routes around Workington; look out to sea and there’s also the fledgling Robin Rigg site which will soon become the UK’s largest offshore wind farm.
So Workington MP Tony Cunningham’s demand for no more turbines in his constituency, coming in the week that the Government announced plans for a massive expansion of wind power, is quite something.
We largely go along with his view that West Cumbria is about at the limit when it comes to turbines.
As they encroach closer to the Lake District national park and the Solway area of outstanding natural beauty they increasingly put pressure on our important tourism economy.
The jury remains out on the contribution that wind power makes to our energy needs.
However the Government’s planning framework, even before this week’s green energy boost, enables power companies to pick away at our green field sites until they get what they want.
Local communities may see them as a blight, but people are made to feel out of step with the green world order.
Now that our MP has made clear his position, it puts him at odds with his own Government. His challenge is now to get a consensus on what Cumbrian residents are prepared to accept, and then to find a way of presenting that view to the policy makers.
We need to have a united voice on this, otherwise Mr Cunningham’s words may be lost in the wind.
Times & Star (Editorial)
26 June 2008
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