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MP backs villagers in windfarm battle

Carlisle MP John Stevenson is backing villagers in Cumwhinton who are mobilising to fight new plans for a windfarm there.

Bolsterstone Innovative Energy’s original proposals for three 377ft-high turbines, at Newlands Farm near M6 junction 42, were thrown out last year following a public inquiry.

Now the company is preparing two new planning applications – one for a single turbine, the other for two.

These are likely to be submitted to Carlisle City Council in March.

Conservative MP Mr Stevenson said: “I am totally against wind farms being built inland.

“I support offshore windfarms as they are less intrusive.

“Windfarms built inland affect nearby communities and are detrimental to the picturesque landscape, which surrounds Cumwhinton.

“I will be working with the residents and actively campaigning against such windfarms.”

Bolsterstone’s revised scheme will be for 328ft-high turbines, each able to generate electricity for 1,200 homes.

The firm is ready to invest between £6m and £7m in the scheme.

Its first planning application was refused in 2008.

The city council argued that the turbines would be “seriously detrimental” to the landscape.

Bolsterstone appealed, triggering a public inquiry.

Planning inspector Paul Griffiths ruled that the turbines would be too close to Cringles Farm and Beech Cottage. Cringles would have been only 450 yards away.

His report said: “The cluster would appear uncomfortably close [to Cringles Farm].

“The proximity of the turbine cluster and its spread would make it appear dominant and overpowering from the principal windows of the main house.

“This domineering presence would have a significant, detrimental effect on the living conditions of the occupiers.”

Bolsterstone’s planning application was one of the most contentious ever handled by the city council.

The authority received 1,300 objections while 242 people wrote in support.