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Fears wind turbine will wipe out TV reception to Cumbrian homes  

Credit:  The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 5 November 2010 ~~

More than 1,500 homes could lose their television reception if plans for a 200ft wind turbine are approved next week.

DistGen, a community wind power firm, wants to build the turbine at JPA Agriculture Ltd on Brayton Park near Aspatria, which relies on diesel generators for its energy supply.

A BBC document submitted to Allerdale council estimates that the television service in up to 1,532 homes could be affected by the plans, including signals from the transmitter at Caldbeck.

But planning officers have advised the council’s development control committee, which meets on Tuesday, to say yes to the project.

In part this is because the corporation’s prediction was based on a BBC internet tool for windfarm developments.

The firm claims that the Brayton Park turbine would be much smaller than the scale of those used for the BBC web tool.

And in recommending the turbine for approval, the report from planning officers claims: “The windfarm tool is applicable to windfarms, not single turbines, and is applicable to turbines of a greater height and electricity output.

“The applicant contests that the online tool would not provide an accurate reflection of the potential interference with television reception.

“Officers cannot place great emphasis on the BBC online tool due to the significant differences in size and capacity of this development.

“Safeguarding television reception can be controlled by condition to ensure appropriate mitigation of any interference caused by the development.”

Problems with television reception were not the only areas of concern, however.

Eighteen letters of objection were sent to the council from local people concerned at the size and appearance of the turbine.

They were also worried about its effect on neighbouring properties, local wildlife, views of the surrounding landscape and its potential for future expansion.

It will be built close to Brayton Park Golf Course and the effect on customers there was also a concern.

But planners say its location is a safe area to address many of these worries and want it to go ahead.

Source:  The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 5 November 2010

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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