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Wind farm refusal is West Cumbria’s ‘turning point’  

Credit:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 29 December 2011 ~~

Wind farm protesters have hailed the decision to reject an appeal for turbines at Great Broughton as a turning point for West Cumbria.

Planning inspector David Rose turned down the appeal by Peel Energy for three turbines at the former Broughton Lodge opencast coal mine.

One of his reasons for refusal was the cumulative impact of the wind farm alongside others in the area.

Workington MP Tony Cunningham and Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin, who have both said “enough is enough” when it comes to rural wind farms, said they hoped the ruling would mark the end of planning inspectors overturning Allerdale council’s decisions.

Mr Cunningham said: “The logical conclusion to this would be that there will be no more turbines in West Cumbria.

“I’ll be writing to Eric Pickles, the communities and local government minister, to say your inspector has said it’s the cumulative effect so I hope other inspectors will follow the same line. I hope this is the turning point.”

Coun Martin said he believed the dismissal was the first in Allerdale.

He said: “I’m delighted with the news. I can only keep my fingers crossed and hope that it is the turning point.

“Maybe the Government and planning inspectors are beginning to get the measure of the opposition to wind farms. It does set a precedent.”

Peel Energy appealed in August after Allerdale council refused permission for turbines at the site, known locally as Soddy Gap, a popular area for walkers and bird watchers.

Mr Rose said Allerdale already had 14 operational and approved wind farms within 19 miles of Broughton Lodge, with the site being near to the planned six-turbine wind farm at Tallentire, which was approved at appeal, and close to Flimby, where there are plans for an increased-height three-turbine wind farm.

He said: “The proposal would result in a marked expansion of wind farm development.”

Among the objectors were Broughton Cricket Club and Sport England, who were concerned that the turbines would affect sight lines on the pitch, the parish council and Derwent Forest Development Consortium, which wants to redevelop the nearby former RNAD site at Broughton Moor.

Mr Rose found no evidence that the development would have an adverse effect on living conditions at nearby Glen Cottage, Rose Cottage or Stockmoor Hall. He also found no evidence to support concerns that enjoyment of the nearby cricket ground would be compromised.

However, he said: “Broughton Lodge occupies a location where the proposed wind turbines would combine with others in the locality and tip the balance from a landscape with wind farms to a landscape with wind turbines as a defining and dominant element.”

John Wilson, chairman of Broughton Parish Council, said: “The wind farm would have seriously affected the amenity of people who live here.”

Nicky Cockburn, Allerdale councillor for Broughton St Bridget’s, said: “It’s a victory for common sense.

“Even though the inspector has only dismissed it on the grounds of cumulative impact I think the weight of objections helped form his opinion.”

Source:  Times & Star, www.timesandstar.co.uk 29 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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