Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, joined CARST – Communities Against Reagill & Sleagill Turbines – committee members as they walked from Reagill to Wintertarn, through what Mr Stewart described as a “wonderfully unique landscape, wholly inappropriate for wind turbines.”
Pure Renewable Energy Ltd, based in Nottingham, recently erected a 51 foot high anemometer mast at Reagill to gather data to support an application for a wind farm. Original plans indicated that eleven turbines, two and half times as high as the mast, were being proposed.
CARST Chairman Jason Hill welcomed Mr Stewart and thanked him for taking the time to visit the site and to see for himself the prominent position above the Eden valley that was being proposed for the turbines. Walkers were all able to see that any turbines would be clearly visible from the Lake District National Park, the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and much of the Eden Valley.
Georgina Perkins of CARST said: “When the M6 was built the stretch between the Lune and the Eden was carefully designed to ensure minimal impact on the skyline. I think Rory Stewart has great sympathy with that intention and he hopes to help prevent the further industrialisation of this landscape.”
Sleagill resident Martin Stone took the opportunity to explain that the landowners most closely involved with the project and who stand to gain financially do not live near the proposed turbines and would not be adversely affected.
In discussing how wind farm development in the area could be resisted Mr Stewart said: “Our number one income-earner is tourism. All our other businesses benefit from the Cumbrian brand of this landscape, the northern Lake District and the Pennines. We need to say that in this time of cuts and economic pressure our tourism, our economy and therefore our landscape are central to us, and for this reason we need to say we are a national exception, we are not like the rest of the country – our natural landscape must be preserved.”
Rory Stewart praised the work of CARST and said that he hoped the same energy he had seen in action could be harnessed for positive good once this campaign was over.
More information about CARST is available at www.carst.info
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