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Area of beauty ‘saturated by wind turbines; claim Cumbrian objectors  

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

Objectors battling against two windfarm schemes for North Allerdale claim the area has reached saturation point for turbines.

Residents’ campaign groups against windfarm proposals for land near Gilcrux and at Westnewton claim a glut of recent applications is a “visual assault” on the region.

The comments come as campaigners gear up to fight both developments when they go before Government inspectors later this month and next.

In a letter to the planning inspectorate, Aspatria campaigner Duncan Stevenson claimed west Cumbria has more turbines than anywhere else in England, except for the north-east coast.

Four have been proposed for the area surrounding Aspatria in recent months.

Mr Stevenson said: “I decided to move to west Cumbria to make the most of living in this beautiful area of the UK over 30 years ago, and am horrified at the unfettered visual assault by these huge structures erected in the most visible locations.”

He also told The Cumberland News: “My objection is the unfairness of the blanket coverage of west Cumbria.”

An application to build six 100m-high wind turbines at Hill Farm, north east of Tallentire and south of Gilcrux were rejected by Allerdale planners in September.

Residents and parish councillors from Aspatria, Oughterside, Plumbland and Gilcrux joined forces with those from Tallentire in lobbying against the proposals.

MP Tony Cunningham also objected to the scheme. He said: “I believe that the small area between the national park and the Solway coast is already saturated with windfarms.”

But Developers Renewable Energy Systems UK lodged an appeal against the decision, which will be heard in Workington on Tuesday, November 23.

A second inquiry is to be held on December 7 into plans to build three 107m-high turbines at Warwick Hall Farm near Westnewton.

The plans there sparked anger among villagers. Residents opposed the scheme, fearing it would blight the area and harm the Solway coast tourist trade.

Aviation authority NATS was among the other objectors along with Cumbria County Council.

The council’s head of environment, Shaun Gorman, said in a report that adverse effects to the landscape would occur up to 7km away.

The plans were rejected by Allerdale councillors in June on environmental grounds, including visual impact and local electronic reception. Developers Broadview Energy Ltd lodged an appeal in July.

Westnewton resident Dr Keith Slinger said the local campaign group this week submitted its objections to the inspectorate.

“We remain fiercely opposed to this,” he said. “These things are popping up all over the place and you can drive the length of Great Britain without seeing a windfarm until you get to Cumbria. This windfarm would be smack between the national park and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and clearly visible from both.”

Broadview has pledged to give £300,000 during the lifetime of the project to a community fund.

Jeffrey Corrigan, of Broadview Energy, said: “We have always believed that this a good project that complies with local and national planning policy. We worked hard to design a scheme that was sympathetic to the local environment, notably reducing the number of turbines from five to three.”

Helen Hall, project manager for Renewable Energy Systems, said: “Now that our appeal has been submitted, and the inquiry scheduled to take place later this month, this will enable all interested parties to participate in the decision-making process and to have their views represented, including the Council and the communities living around the proposed windfarm.”

Source:  By Sarah Newstead, 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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