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Protestors blast plans to double turbines size  

Credit:  North-West Evening Mail, www.nwemail.co.uk 20 October 2011 ~~

Plans to almost double the size of five wind turbines between Barrow and Ulverston have been blasted bycampaigners as a “money spinning exercise”.

Baywind has applied to replace its turbines at Harlock Hill, built in 1996, with five 2.3 megawatt turbines to boost the amount of power generated.

Two leading members of the Marton, Askam and Ireleth Windfarm Action Group, which opposed the windfarm built above Ireleth on Far Old Park Farm, slammed the new proposals at a meeting of Askam and Ireleth Parish Council.

The new turbines would be 95.5 metres high, almost double the existing turbines’ 54 metre height.

The MAIWAG members referred to numerous other turbine applications being handled by Barrow Borough Council and the first Walney Offshore Windfarm, which has 51 turbines.

MAIWAG member David Brierley, who lives just outside Askam, told the meeting at the Rankin Hall, Askam: “I can’t think of any other town that’s going to be surrounded like this.

“People are never going to see a sunset again, other than through twirling blades. And for what?

“This has got nothing to do with being green. This is greed.

“They’re no more than the equivalent of the Angel of the North. It’s your government saying: ‘Look at what we’re doing for you.’”

Another MAIWAG member, Les Nichols, said windfarms would harm Barrow’s tourism appeal and described Furness as a “dumping ground” for turbines.

Mr Nichols, of Ireleth, told the meeting: “They are five monstrosities nobody wants. It’s just a money-spinning exercise and it’s disgraceful.

“It’s a licence to print money, it’s nothing else, and we’re going to destroy the whole of the Furness peninsula with wind turbines.

“They will be seen from everywhere. It’s disgraceful and if Barrow council let this go through, they should be put against a wall and shot.”

The parish council agreed it would oppose the plans and was to draw up its response with the help of MAIWAG.

Council chairman, Councillor George Twiname, told the meeting: “From an environmental point of view and the impact on wildlife, it’s completely destructive. You can’t put a price on it.

“You don’t know how they’re going to be until they start to run. But once you’ve got them there, you’re stuck with them.”

Councillor Sandra Hadwick said: “All they’re doing is appeasing the green people and, I agree, it’s all to do with money.”

Annette Heslop is one of the directors at Baywind.

She said: “We are the only ones offering the local community the chance to benefit directly from wind turbines. Many other farms are built by developers and the money goes to them. With us, the profits are staying within the area.

“There are already five turbines at Harlock Hill, all we are doing is replacing them with more modern turbines, five will come down and five will go up. The existing turbines are 15 years old.

“Technology has moved on, you can’t buy little turbines now.

“We will be doing a share offer and inviting anyone in the local area to come and get involved with the co-operative and buy shares, therefore they will receive the profits.

“I personally believe in wind power and it’s the way forward. Wind power makes sense.”

Source:  North-West Evening Mail, www.nwemail.co.uk 20 October 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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