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Protesters fight 303ft turbine bid  

Credit:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 8 December 2011 ~~

Campaigners are staging a last-ditch fight to halt plans for a 303ft wind turbine at Seaton.

Airvolution Energy Ltd’s plan for the turbine at Wythegill Syke, which would provide power for the Eastman chemical plant, is due to be decided by Allerdale council’s development panel on Tuesday.

The plan, which has split public opinion, has been recommended for approval.

It has attracted 55 letters of objection, a 145-name petition and a separate letter signed by six people.

There have also been 68 letters of support.

A fresh petition, with up to 500 signatures, is circulating and Jason Lowden, of St Helen’s Lane, Flimby, said it would be handed over at Tuesday’s meeting.

Campaigners have put up banners calling on people to oppose the plan, and have distributed posters showing how they calculate the turbine view would look from Main Road, Seaton.

Mr Lowden, 40, said: “People have got to do something about it now. If they don’t, it’s there for 25 years.”

People fear the turbine would add to what they claim is an eyesore created by existing turbines, affect house values and cause shadow flicker and noise.

It has been suggested that the application should not be decided until after the Onshore Wind Turbines (Proximity of Habitation) Bill, which refers to a minimum distance of 4,921ft between turbines and homes, has become an act of parliament, as the site is 1,837ft from Barncroft Avenue.

Seaton Parish Council has objected because of the visual impact.

Eastman said the scheme would help the business retain its competitiveness.

Other supporters said the turbine would have minimal impact in an area containing large industrial buildings, and would contribute to renewable energy targets and protect future employment.

Richard Mardon, chief executive officer of Airvolution Energy, said: “We have gone to great lengths to ensure the impact is minimal. We have worked hard to make sure the energy generated is used locally and is of economic benefit to the local community.

“Airvolution Energy is committed to being a good neighbour – not just through the planning and construction phases, but for the entire life of our projects.”

He said a community benefit fund linked to the project would provide annual payments of £6,900 to support initiatives in Seaton, Siddick, Flimby and Northside.

A report to councillors said that on balance the harm identified was outweighed by “significant weight” attached to the benefits. It recommends approval subject to 27 conditions, including a permission time limit of 25 years from first energy production, and a requirement for blades to rotate in the same direction as the existing Eastman turbines.

Source:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 8 December 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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