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North Cumbrian communities urged to fight windfarm plan

Communities in North Allerdale are urging householders to join a mass campaign to fight the windfarm applications they claim are saturating the area.

The move comes after controversial plans for a wind monitoring mast at Reathwaite Farm, near Wigton, were lodged last week.

Campaigners believe people power is the way forward in their fight against a slew of recent proposals.

Colin Robinson, of Westward, told The Cumberland News that a meeting next Friday, December 3, at Rosley Village Hall will see people across the area join forces.

“We are hoping to create a larger opposition group,” he said. “We want to organise the community with as many people from the area to expand the numbers wanting to get involved.

“People are generally becoming more and more aware of the threat to this part of the county.”

It is hoped that a larger group will be able to fundraise to help pay for things such as independent noise surveys and research.

“We realise energy companies are difficult opponents. We need to be prepared.”

If the Reathwaite mast application from developers Pure Renewable Energy gets the go-ahead, a temporary 70 metre mast would be built on the farm site.

Its aim is to monitor wind conditions to see if the site is suitable for a windfarm with a maximum of nine turbines.

The site lies 1.9km outside Rosley and is close to the Lake District National Park.

Residents have lodged objections to the scheme.

David Colborn, of Bolton Low Houses, said: “There is no question that the mast will present an unacceptable eyesore.”

Dr Clive Marshall, of Curthwaite, said the proposed mast is just over a mile from the national park boundary.

“We are being bombarded with a stream of applications. The mast would be extremely intrusive.”

However, Natural England has raised no objections. The landscape watchdog says the mast is not likely to have a significant impact.

Meanwhile, a planning inquiry began this week into proposals for six 100m-high wind turbines at Hill Farm, Tallentire, near Gilcrux. Developers Renewable Energy Systems UK lodged an appeal when Allerdale planners refused the scheme in September.

Residents and parish councillors from Aspatria, Oughterside, Plumbland and Gilcrux joined those from Tallentire to lobby against the proposals. MP Tony Cunningham has also spoken out against the plans.

A second inquiry is being 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 as they feared it would blight the area and harm the Solway coast tourist trade.

Cumbria County Council and aviation authority NATS were among the objectors. In June, Allerdale councillors rejected the plans on environmental grounds, but developers Broadview Energy Ltd lodged an appeal in July.

Last month, West Coast Energy put in a scoping application to determine the effect of building turbines at Carwath Farm near Rosley. It comes after proposals for a 197ft wind test mast on the site were rejected in July.

BT scrapped fiercely- opposed plans to build three turbines at Threapland Lees, near Aspatria, in September due to “technical issues”.

Last May, energy firm RWE npower renewables was given the go-ahead to build six turbines at Hellrigg windfarm at Park Head Farm, near Silloth.

The community meeting next Friday will be held at Rosley Village Hall from 7.30pm. All are welcome.