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Plans put forward to extend windfarm

Controversial proposals to extend a windfarm have been submitted to planners.

The plans for the five-turbine site on land next to HMP Haverigg have been submitted to Copeland Borough Council’s planning department by Partnerships for Renewables.

Project leader, Stuart Barnes, told Millom Town Council a £1.125m community chest would accompany the project – should it be given the go ahead.

Residents reacted angrily when it was revealed the turbines will stand at 130 metres rather than the original 90 metres, but Mr Barnes said there are a number of positive aspects to the proposed development.

He said: “We’re very aware of the fact we have increased the height.

“The benefits as we see them are first and foremost the community benefit fund and we’re adamant that money will be spent in Millom and Haverigg – not in Whitehaven as I believe has happened in the past.” Mr Barnes said the project would cost around £20m to build and pledged the firm’s commitment to providing work for local firms.

He said: “There is no-one who produces turbines in this county but we would try and procure as much locally as possible for example cables, civil engineering contracts and concrete.

“All turbine components would come into Port Millom and be delivered through escorted loads.”

He added: “Clearly there will be concerns but our job is to hold consultation events to ease that.”

It is thought the project will cost around £5m to connect to the National Grid and Mr Barnes admitted all projections were based on the windfarm operating at 25 per cent power – though he said the firm was confident it could supply enough power for around 6,600 homes.

Councillor Doug Wilson said: “I’m personally gratified you’ve considered bringing in the turbine by sea.

“Most of us feel Port Millom is a useful facility not made use of as best as it could be.”

Councillor Frank McPhillips asked if the community fund would be reduced due to windfarm operating at 25 per cent, but the council was told the amount was a guaranteed amount.

A public consultation event will take place next Thursday in Haverigg Working Mens’ Club in Main Street.