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Furness turbines council decision

Residents reacted angrily after proposals for the first of a series of turbines planned for the Furness area were accepted.

Members of Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee narrowly voted in favour of going with their recommendation to accept plans for a single turbine at Lindal Cote Farm.

Chairwoman Councillor Ann Thomson cast the deciding vote after the committee reached a stalemate of six votes for and six against the 15m-tower.

Some residents who attended the meeting reacted with anger to the decision, with shouts of “You’re a disgrace” and “You have no right to interrupt my sleep.”

Before the meeting, nine objections had been submitted by residents of Lindal, Newton and Stank, who had several issues with the application: including perceived visual, natural and health impacts.

The committee had been recommended by the council’s planning department to accept the plans as officers felt the application would not have a detrimental impact on the surrounding area.

There was initial confusion on whether or not any of the residents would be able to speak at the meeting, with case officer Jason Hipkiss stating no requests to speak had been made.

However, Brian Martin, who lives 400m away from the site, said he had made a late submission to the committee and was allowed to speak.

He said the turbine would worsen his problems with epilepsy and that members of the public had raised their fears about this application and others at a public meeting in Newton.

The application is one of 10 received by the council since the summer and campaigners have raised fears a plague of turbines could blight the landscape.

Mr Martin said: “As this is the first application, it becomes the most important application.

“This will set a precedent and if this accepted, you can bet that the planning committee will be hit by a tsunami of other applications.”

Mr Hipkiss said all the applications would be treated separately and that all were unique in their size, location and format.

He recommended the plans be accepted as the size of the turbine meant it would not have a detrimental impact on the area.

Councillors Jack Richardson, Ken Williams and Ernie Wilson all said they needed more information on the noise and environmental impacts of the development and called for the application to be deferred.

However, Cllr Thomson proposed the application be accepted with a series of conditions. This move was narrowly carried and residents aired their displeasure as they left.

Applicant John Sharp did not speak at the meeting.