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Turbines will affect ‘vital radio signals’

The latest proposals for wind turbines on the edge of Cumwhinton could affect vital communications links for utility companies, it has been claimed.

More than 1,000 people have registered objections to Bolsterstone Innovative Energy’s plans for either one or two 328ft turbines, at Newlands Farm, near M6 junction 42.

They include the Joint Radio Company (JRC), a London-based organisation that analyses windfarm proposals on behalf of utilities.

JRC says interference from the turbines could affect radio links to United Utilities’ pumping stations at Cumwhinton Hill and Durdar, and Electricity North West’s sub stations at Warnell Fell, near Caldbeck, and RAF Spadeadam, north east of Brampton.

These are described as infrastructure of “critical” national importance.

JRC engineer Keith Brogden said: “We are in talks with the council and the developer.

“The problem can be surmounted. The simplest solution is to move the turbines.

“Where that isn’t possible the [radio] links can be moved but that involves considerable cost.”

An earlier scheme for three 377ft turbines at Newlands Farm was rejected last year following 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.

Bolsterstone says its latest proposals are less intrusive.

The News & Star understands that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will not object. Its intervention scuppered proposals for six turbines at Hallburn Farm, Longtown, last month.

The MoD argued that vibrations or ‘seismic noise’ from the turbines might hinder scientists at Eskdalemuir, 40 kilometres away, from monitoring nuclear tests around the world.

That would prevent the UK from meeting its obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Newlands Farm is not considered a threat because it is more than 50 kilometres from Eskdalemuir.