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Move to fight wind farm appeal for Broughton

Councillors in Broughton are preparing to fight a further attempt to erect a wind farm on the site of the former Broughton Lodge opencast mine.

Peel Energy has lodged an appeal after Allerdale council refused planning permission for three turbines on the land known as Soddy Gap.

The council said the wind farm would have an adverse impact on the three nearest properties and a negative cumulative effect on the area.

Parish council chairman John Wilson told a meeting on Monday that he was disappointed the parish council had not been formally told of the appeal because it owns a cricket pitch next to the site, which would be affected by the development.

It was important for batsmen and bowlers to have a static view but the development would place one turbine in their line of sight, he said.

He added that former Workington MP Lord Campbell-Savours had pledged to contact the owner of Peel Energy about the plan.

Borough councillor Nicky Cockburn said she was making a formal objection on the grounds that the turbines would inhibit the use of the cricket pitch, causing a loss of amenity, and would affect walkers, horse riders and cyclists using the paths across Soddy Gap.

She also had concerns about the accuracy of documents relating to the application.

She claimed that Peel Energy had not paid a correct fee to submit the application, paying £7,000 rather than £21,000, but county council leader and local member Eddie Martin said that was unlikely to have a bearing on the appeal as council officers had accepted that the application as valid.

Coun Martin said local opinion was often outweighed by the Government’s desire to meet European Union targets, which he added was challenging, but should not put the parish off making a strong argument against the plan.

He said he had included the industrialisation of the site in his objections to the plan.

Coun Cockburn added that the Derwent Forest Development Consortium, which wants to develop the former RNAD site at Broughton Moor, had objected to the plan and she thought Persimmon, which is planning a housing development at Church Meadows, would also object.

Coun Vera Sherwood questioned whether wind turbines were efficient and added: “If they are I think they should put a whole lot of them on Hyde Park and up The Mall and let them power London.”

Council vice chairman Max Loosli agreed to draft a letter of objection for all councillors to consider before it is submitted.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, September 12.