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Council rejects bid for 200ft wind turbine near Aspatria  

Credit:  By Sarah Newstead and John Connell, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 12 November 2010 ~~

Controversial plans to put a 200ft wind turbine near Aspatria have been rejected amid fears about its impact on tourism.

Councillors said west Cumbria is at “saturation point” for windfarms.

DistGen, a community wind power firm, lodged plans to build the turbine at JPA Agriculture Ltd, which relies on diesel generators for its electricity supply.

Distgen says the turbine would the allow the animal food manufacturing plant to virtually eliminate CO2 emissions.

But Allerdale council’s development panel rejected the plan on Tuesday, despite officers’ recommendation that it should be approved.

Councillor Alan Smith said: “The people who don’t live here seem to be under the impression that the people of west Cumbria want to embrace these wind turbines.

“We have got that many we have reached saturation point.”

The decision came after Barry Ward, owner of Brayton Park Golf Course, spoke to the development panel.

Mr Ward hopes to build 140 holiday lodges on the golf course and feared the turbine would affect tourism.

The golf course and Lakeside Inn collected 190 signatures on petitions against the visual impact of the turbine.

It was also feared that up to 1,532 homes would have lost their television signal if the turbine plans had gone ahead.

A BBC document submitted to Allerdale Council predicted that the structure could disrupt signals from its Caldbeck transmitter.

But DistGen said the BBC tool used for the prediction did not accurately reflect the situation because it was geared towards windfarms rather than a single turbine.

Aspatria town council objected too, fearing the build would set a precedent in the area. Allhallows parish council also objected on visual impact grounds.

Around 18 residents objected, claiming homes would lose value and the turbine would affect local wildlife.

Malcolm Ashworth, representing DistGen, said the company had hoped to give JPA a unique opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint.

After the decision, the Mayor of Aspatria, Trevor Gear, told The Cumberland News: “The town council is pleased and hopes that Mr Ward’s leisure and holiday complex can go ahead in the near future.”

He added that the council would fight any appeal.

DistGen managing director John Zamick, said: “We were very disappointed, we had hoped that the council could see the merit of trying to provide renewable energy to a local enterprise.

“I’m personally disappointed that some people view this as such a negative thing, when I view it as positive.”

Source:  By Sarah Newstead and John Connell, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 12 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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