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Windfarms under fire  

Credit:  North-West Evening Mail, www.nwemail.co.uk 30 September 2011 ~~

Residents are being called on to have their say on windfarms, as a councillor claims “enough is enough”.

Millom Councillor Ray Cole hit out over the number of developments in south and west Cumbria.

Speaking at a Millom Town Council meeting on Wednesday, he said: “This situation is getting completely out of control.

“I understand the need for renewables, but enough is enough.

“When I first came to Millom, it was beautiful.

“Now look around. Look over Kirby Moor. Look out to sea. They’re everywhere.

“We are surrounded by these things and we are going to get more.”

Cllr Cole is angry about the ongoing consultation being carried out by Dong Energy. The company plans to expand its 102-turbine Walney windfarm.

Dong is set to install 108 more turbines around 19km off the Walney coast.

It has held public meetings about the plans in Barrow, Egremont, Middleton, Blackpool and Douglas on the Isle of Man.

Cllr Cole said: “But where is the most visual impact going to be? Haverigg.

“We are subjected to this blight on our landscape for generations to come.

“I believe passionately in the environment, but what is in it for people in Millom? Nothing.”

Peter Sills, Dong Energy communication manager said: “Our initial consultations were spread around so the difference between affected areas was similar.

“We are now doing a follow-up from our first round of events, and plan to hold one within the Millom area in October. We will be announcing the date and location shortly.

“We really hope to open a dialogue and discuss this with the people of Millom, in terms of what this will mean for West Cumbria.

“From my knowledge and experience of the area, the investment that’s coming to Cumbria is not just within Barrow, the benefits are coming to Cumbria on a larger scale.”

Millom Councillor Brian Crawford has expressed concerns about the windfarms’ effects on sea life. He said local anglers have reported changes in the behaviour of fish species near where turbines are being installed at developments off Walney.

Cllr Crawford said: “I wish to know what research is being carried out on marine population densities near installations at present, and on sites of future development.

“These studies should be paid for by windfarm developers using independent specialists.”

Mr Sills said: “We will have a special environmental scientist at the consultation event, who will be able to answer these questions.

“The necessary studies are either under way or taking place as part of the overall environmental assessment, and we welcome all local knowledge that can help us with that.”

Millom Town Council agreed with the issues raised by Cllrs Cole and Crawford, and now plans to write to the government about their concerns.

And Cllr Cole wants residents to write to the council and say what they think.

He said: “I think it’s time we stood up and let the people of the town make the decision.”

Source:  North-West Evening Mail, www.nwemail.co.uk 30 September 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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