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Wind turbines would destroy character of West Cumbrian village  

Credit:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 9 December 2010 ~~

Westnewton residents say that plans to erect three 350ft wind turbines near the village would destroy their way of life.

Broadview Energy Developments wants to create a wind farm at Warwick Hall Farm.

But members of the Westnewton Action Group said it would have an overbearing presence and destroy the character of their village.

They were talking at a planning inquiry at the Oval Centre in Salterbeck, Workington, called because of Broadview Energy Developments’ appeal against a decision in June by Aller-dale council to reject the scheme.

John Ryden, chairman of Westnewton Parish Council, said: “These structures would detract from the lovely landscape we have here.

“These turbines will be visible from very long distances, especially views to the Lake District National Park and the Solway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

“There will be a significant visual impact on Westnewton, and the noise and shadow flicker will affect residential amenity.”

Broadview said that the turbines were needed to fill a renewable energy gap in the North West. Coastal and onshore wind farms were needed in rural England.

David Hardy, representing Broadview, added: “This is a good scheme in an excellent location and is the sort of site that will have to be used in the future.”

Villagers were also concerned about the cumulative effect of the wind farms, with turbines already on Wharrels Hill at Bothel, Hellrigg at Silloth and with another proposal for six turbines at Tallentire.

Mr Hardy said: “Warwick Hill is a suitable site for wind farms.

“We accept that there would be a change on the local landscape but one that is not unacceptable.

“The positive environmental, economic and social impacts would outweigh the negatives.

“The turbines will be a key characteristic of the landscape but not a defining one.”

The inquiry also heard from landscape architect Paul Macrae and conservation consultant Lindsay Cowle.

Mr Macrae said: “Views of the turbines will be experienced by a large number of residents not just in Westnewton but in Aspatria and Prospect as well.

“Eighty per cent of properties will see the turbines as a dominant and defining feature on the landscape.”

The inquiry is expected to finish on Tuesday.

Source:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 9 December 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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