Two West Cumbrian communities have launched a campaign to block a massive new wind turbine seen as vital to the future viability of one of the area’s biggest employers.
Villagers in Seaton and Flimby claim they are under siege from wind turbines, odour from the nearby sewage works and industrial development.
Airvolution Energy wants to erect a 303ft turbine at Wythegill Syke, Seaton, for Siddick’s Eastman Chemical plant, to help keep the firm competitive.
Eastman, which already has the area’s two largest turbines on its site, says the mast would produce electricity to support its own energy needs.
The turbine, producing electricity for the equivalent of 1,200 homes, would help to maintain its competitiveness in the European market, which would improve the viability and sustainability of the plant.
But more than 200 people have objected to the scheme. This includes a petition which has received 145 signatures.
Seaton Parish Council has objected on the grounds of visual impact.
Sixteen people have written in support of the scheme.
Evelyn Varty’s Flimby garden would be overshadowed by the turbine if it is given the go-ahead.
Mrs Varty, 58, of St Helen’s Lane, said: “Our MP Tony Cunningham has already said our area is saturated with turbines and I agree that the time has come to call a halt.
“I have lived here for 40 years surrounded by fields and wildlife and it used to be nice to enjoy the surroundings.
“I have had to buy blinds to keep out the shadow flicker from the existing turbines and I can’t believe they are building another one on a greenfield site right above us.
“I can’t sleep with the windows open because of the constant noise and this will impact on me even more.
“These developers are not living with these turbines like we are.”
Jason Lowden, 40, of St Helen’s Farm, Flimby, said: “They will tower over the top of us like monsters.
“You won’t be able to watch television with the shadow flicker and noise, and if that isn’t destroying our human rights then what is?
“I am not against wind turbines as such but we have got our fair share.”
Trevor Fee, chairman of Seaton Parish Council, said: “We have already far too many turbines.
“We objected to the other two turbines that the chemical plant already has. They are horrible, an eyesore and stop the nice views.
“None of the households are even benefiting from it, as the electricity is all going to Eastman.”
Views of the turbine would be possible along the A596 and routes within Seaton as well as from the A596 as it approaches Workington from Lillyhall, the A66 Stainburn bypass and the Seaton to Broughton Moor road.
Airvolution Energy said it accepted there would be a change of view for some residents, but said the overall impact was not considered to be dominant or overbearing. It was considered that the harm on the landscape and visual amenity was outweighed by the benefits arising from the promotion of renewable energy development.
Allerdale council will discuss a planning application for the turbine next week.