Campaigners against commercial wind energy have claimed a victory in their fight to stop Cumbria’s landscape being dominated by turbines.
Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment (FORCE) members have argued that an influx of single-turbine developments would change the classification of the area, making it easier for developers to obtain permission for larger projects.
An Allerdale council development panel turned down permission for an 80m turbine at Boltongate last week. That refusal pleased those who believe the landscape would be permanently spoiled by large turbines.
Avril Hemsley-Rose, assistant chairwoman of FORCE, said many residents objected to the proposal.
She said: “It’s the phenomenon of single-unit turbines. If you put up lots it effectively turns into a windfarm landscape.
“The response from the development panel suggested they are fed up of being bombarded with them.
“I think the developers regard the area as easy pickings but this has shown them it’s not. I think they were surprised by the number of objectors.”
She added: “It was an application that was opportunistic and it was in the wrong location.”
An Allerdale council decision notice states: “The local planning authority considers that the proposed development would have an adverse impact on the setting of the Church of All Saints in Boltongate, a Grade I-listed building.
“Inadequate information has been submitted to allow an appropriate assessment of the landscape and visual impacts of the proposed development, either individually or cumulatively.”
In a design and access document developer Stern Wind said that national and local planning policy offers support for developments such as the Boltongate turbine. It said: “The site at Lane Head Farm has been identified following extensive research and deemed to be a suitable location, providing the necessary balance between capturing the wind resource and protecting the local environment.”
It is unclear whether the company will appeal.
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