The UK’s obligations under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty appear to have scuppered plans for a windfarm at Solway Moss, near Longtown.
Carlisle city councillors yesterday refused a planning application for nine wind turbines, north of the Longtown-Gretna road, after the Ministry of Defence objected.
It said that vibrations or ‘seismic noise’ could interfere with equipment at Eskdalemuir, near Langholm used to monitor nuclear tests across the globe.
A similar objection led to the refusal of plans for six turbines at Hallburn Farm, east of Longtown, in August.
Conservative councillor Bryan Craig told the meeting: “It would be irresponsible to go against the Ministry of Defence’s concerns about Eskdalemuir.”
The plan from EDF Energy Renewables would have created one of the tallest windfarms in the country with turbines 413ft high to the blade tip.
The council received more than 160 objections and 110 expressions of support for the scheme.
Objectors claimed it would harm the landscape, damage tourism, reduce house prices and potentially cause noise disturbance, shadow flicker and health problems.
Several spoke at yesterday’s meeting.
Annette Trotter, representing the anti-windfarm Solway Moss Protection Committee, claimed the turbines would damage a precious peat bog.
She said: “How can they dump 4,000 tonnes of alkaline concrete into an acidic peat bog, destroying it, and claim it is environmentally friendly?
“Surely our health should be of utmost importance in any decision.”
David Wilson, a farmer from Gretna, claimed that the turbines would be a hazard to birds including thousands of geese that winter on the Solway.
But Tony Scorer, for EDF, said: “Natural England and the RSPB have not objected.
“The Government has investigated the health of people living near windfarms many times and concluded that there is no impact.”
EDF has put forward a solution to the problem of seismic noise. It believes that fitting dampeners to the turbines would reduce it to an acceptable level.
So far the Ministry of Defence is unconvinced.
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