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Parish council opposes windfarm planned near Longtown

Parish councillors have voted against plans for a massive windfarm on the edge of Longtown.

At a meeting this week, members of Arthuret parish council agreed to formally object to a six-turbine windfarm development 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.

After a debate, at the meeting on Monday night, parish councillors decided to vote on the plans. Seven members voted no and one councillor, Shirley Winthrop, abstained. Another two declared an interest and did not vote.

Councillors have twice deferred making the decision at previous meetings.

Clerk Karen Johnson said before the vote: “This application has been before this parish council quite a few times and it has been put back. We are at the stage were we have to make a decision.”

Chairman Ilene Forsyth echoed these concerns and added: “I would very much like to see us make a decision on this windfarm. We should stand up and be counted.”

Before registering his vote councillor Tom Carter said: “I feel that it is part of a parish council’s duty to take forward the opinions of our parishioners. Hundreds of people have objected to this development.

“I am not a lobbyist but people seem to be saying no, so we should take note of it.”

Fellow councillor Gordon Routledge added: “My concern is on one of visual impact. I don’t see why the turbines have to be so high.”

The Hallburn proposal is just one of two planned developments in the town.

A larger plan for nine similarly tall turbines at Beck Burn, Solway Moss, between Gretna and Longtown, proposed by energy company EDF Renewables, has also been submitted to Carlisle City Council.

It was revealed this week that the fate of both of these wind farms will be decided by city councillors on July 15.

County councillor for Longtown Val Tarbitt told the meeting that the Hallburn windfarm proposals had already come before county councillors for consideration.

She said: “As consultants, we strongly recommended that it be refused.”

A protest group has been formed to fight the Hall burn development.

BLOW (Block Longtown Windfarms) argues that the development will have an adverse effect on wildlife, road safety, tourism, the character of the town and noise pollution. The group sent letters out to residents urging them to object to the plans.

Eileen Naude, of BLOW, said after the meeting: “I am pleased with the decision. I think it was the right one for the parish council to make.”

At the last count, Carlisle City Council had received 360 responses to the application – 280 against it and 79 in favour.