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Allerdale council throws out plan for giant wind turbine at Cumbrian factory  

Credit:  By Paul Crute, News & Star, www.newsandstar.co.uk 15 December 2011 ~~

A plan to build a 303 feet high wind turbine at Seaton has been rejected by Allerdale council.

Airvolution Energy wanted to build the turbine at Wythegill Syke for Siddick’s Eastman Chemical plant, to keep the firm competitive in the European market.

At a meeting of Allerdale council’s development panel, councillors rejected the plans on the grounds of visual impact to properties on Barncroft Avenue in Seaton, Moorhouse Guards at High Seaton and at St Helen’s Lane in Flimby.

This was despite planning officers recommending the plan for approval as it said that on balance the harm was outweighed by the benefits that the wind turbine would produce.

Eastman, which already has the area’s two largest turbines on its site, says the turbine would produce electricity to support its own energy needs.

The turbine, producing electricity for the equivalent of 1,200 homes, would generate an annual community income of £6,900.

Two petitions against the scheme were received, with more than 800 signatures, as well more than 30 letters of objection.

Around 130 letters of support were received with reasons ranging from the local benefits it will bring to the need to tackle climate change.

The meeting heard from Evelyn Varty, who had lived on St Helen’s Lane for 40 years, who complained that she had suffered from shadow flicker and noise from the two existing turbines and believed more would follow.

Anita Lowden, of St Helen’s Farm said: “These turbines will have a detrimental impact on Seaton and the surrounding areas.

“There will be a loss of value on our properties and less of an influx of visitors into the village.”

Kate Birkett, speaking on behalf of Seaton parish council, which recommended refusal of the plans of the grounds of visual impact, said: “There has been no meeting of a parish council where there has been so much public objection to one plan.

“The quality of life of the residents will be impaired by further development.

“None of us wants to see this development and we and people in surrounding areas feel very strongly about it.”

Agent Ric Outhwaite, on behalf of Airvolution Energy, said that because of the landscape the wind turbine would only be 31ft higher than the current turbines at Eastman.

He added that there were no objections from statutory bodies which was unusual for wind turbine applications, that Airvolution Energy needed to support local businesses and that renewable energy targets had to be met.

He said: “We have got to be seen to be contributing to the government’s renewable energy targets.

“The turbine would provide electricity to a long-established local employer of 175 people and 90 per cent of them live within five miles of the site.

“The scheme will safeguard the employment of local people and keep Eastman in a competitive position. We know there will be an effect but you have to balance that against the national policy of producing renewable energy and see if it is acceptable.”

The plan was rejected by nine votes to three.

Source:  By Paul Crute, News & Star, www.newsandstar.co.uk 15 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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