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North Cumbria villagers pledge to fight new windfarm scheme  

Credit:  By Julian Whittle, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 5 August 2011 ~~

Villagers in Cumwhinton have vowed to fight new plans for a windfarm on their doorstep.

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 renewable-energy company has tabled two more planning applications.

One is for a single turbine, the other for two, each 328ft high.

It hopes the application for two will succeed but has the single-turbine scheme as a fall back.

It is ready to invest between £6 million and £7m in the project.

A design statement attached to the planning applications argues that the development is needed to help meet Government targets for an 80 per cent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

It says: “The landscape character of the site and its immediately surroundings has the capacity to successfully accommodate the proposed turbines without significant harm.”

That view is disputed by many local residents.

The Against Newlands Windfarm action group, formed to oppose the original plans, is equally determined to fight the latest proposals.

It has issued a statement saying: “The villagers of Cumwhinton are disappointed and angered that Bolsterstone has decided to submit two further proposals.

“There is no getting away from the fact that structures such as these, at this close proximity to the village, will be dominant whether they are 328ft or 377ft tall.”

The group argues that, as the new scheme would produce less electricity than the first proposal, the benefits cannot possibly outweigh the detrimental effects.

Bolsterstone’s first planning application was refused in 2008.

Carlisle City Council argued that the turbines would be “seriously detrimental” to the landscape.

The company appealed, triggering a public inquiry.

Planning inspector Paul Griffiths ruled that the turbines would be too close to Cringles Farm and Beech Cottage. Cringles is 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.”

The objectors have the support of Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

Bolsterstone’s first 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.

The deadline for comments on the latest plans is Friday August 19.

The action group has set up a website to oppose the scheme – www.againstnewlandswindfarm.co.uk.

Source:  By Julian Whittle, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 5 August 2011

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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