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Rethink over Cumbrian windfarm plans?  

Credit:  By Julian Whittle, News & Star, www.newsandstar.co.uk 27 December 2011 ~~

Proposals for a windfarm at Solway Moss, near Longtown, are likely to be revived if another scheme near Lockerbie gets the go ahead.

Carlisle City Council refused planning consent earlier this month for nine turbines at Beck Burn peat works north of the A6071 Longtown-Gretna road.

It would have been one of the tallest windfarms in the country with turbines 413ft high.

The application was refused solely because of an objection from the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD argued that vibrations or ‘seismic noise’ could interfere with equipment at Eskdalemuir, near Langholm, that monitors nuclear tests under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Applicant EDF Energy Renewables says it is “considering” its next steps.

But the News & Star understands the company will wait for the outcome of an inquiry into a proposed windfarm at Newfield, near Lockerbie.

This too is within the 50-kilometre ‘safeguarding zone’ around Eskdalemuir.

The planning application from Wind Energy (Newfield) says: “A design solution has been developed and approved by the Ministry of Defence.

“Once implemented, there will be no adverse effects on the Eskdalemuir facility.”

It is understood the solution involves fitting dampeners to turbines to cut seismic noise.

If the Newfield scheme is approved, EDF will appeal against refusal of permission for Solway Moss.

Mike Shiel, a Reporter of the Scottish Division of Planning and Environmental Appeals, held an inquiry into the Newfield proposals in February.

Scottish Ministers are due to announce their decision early in the New Year.

Carlisle City Council received more than 160 objections to EDF’s planning application for Solway Moss, while 110 individuals and organisations wrote in support.

The objectors claimed the turbines would damage the peat bog, be a hazard to birds and harm the landscape while noise and shadow flicker could cause health problems.

Supporters argued that the windfarm would supply electricity for 10,000 homes, reducing carbon emissions.

The two sides continue to trade blows, even after the council’s decision.

Chas Edginton, an anti-windfarm campaigner from Leicestershire, challenged an assertion made by EDF that “many” government investigations had shown windfarms had “no impact” on health.

Replying to his email, Tony Scorer, EDF’s head of onshore wind development, pointed to a 1997 study into the effects of vibrations around windfarms carried out for the Department for Trade and Industry.

His response said: “There is no evidence that ground transmitted low frequency noise from wind turbines is at a sufficient level to be harmful to human health.”

Source:  By Julian Whittle, News & Star, www.newsandstar.co.uk 27 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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