MP Rory Stewart issued a rallying call ahead of an anti-windfarm protest in Longtown this weekend, saying: “We don’t want turbines in Penrith and the Border.”
The politician will support his constituents in Longtown and throughout the county at a protest against proposed windfarms tomorrow.
The people of Longtown are facing the prospect of two large developments – including some of the largest turbines in the county – being built on the edge of the town.
These include plans for a six-turbine windfarm at Hallburn Farm. Energy company Cornwall Light and Power (CLP) want to build the 127m (416ft) turbines just east of the town. They would stand three times as tall as Carlisle Civic Centre and be visible for miles around.
Joining this application is a larger plan for nine similarly large turbines at Beck Burn, Solway Moss, between Gretna and Longtown, proposed by energy company EDF Renewables.
Planning applications for both have been lodged with Carlisle City Council but have not yet been debated.
Rory Stewart says he wants to send a strong message to those who will vote on them, that the voice of the community must be listened to.
Solway Moss will be the starting point for tomorrow’s protest where Mr Stewart hopes hundreds of people will join him and local county and city councillors Val Tarbitt, John Mallinson and Ray Bloxham. David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, will also take part.
Mr Stewart told The Cumberland News: “I am very keen to build a gathering of people who can together make a very important argument.
“We don’t want wind turbines in Penrith and the Border because our economy is almost entirely dependent on tourism. So our landscape should not be blighted by these industrial machines.”
He added: “I don’t think windfarms should be built on the northern edge of the Lake District. This is a very, very precious area that people travel from all over the world to visit. People will be looking at turbines that are around 400ft tall.
“This is an important issue for communities in Cumbria who have a very close relationship with their landscape.”
Mr Stewart wants the protest to send a message that communities cannot be ignored. “They are the centre of politics and I do not want to live in a world where officials make the decisions,” he added.
The protesters will meet at Solway Moss from 11.30am until 12.30pm, with a question and answer session at Longtown Community Centre at 1.30pm.