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Battle lines drawn over plans for wind turbine on north Cumbrian farm  

Credit:  By Emily Parsons, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 13 April 2012 ~~

Residents of Scotby were outraged last month when they received letters informing them of the plans for a 71m structure near Aglionby, with just a week to respond.

Carlisle City Council eventually agreed to extend the consultation period for the turbine, on land at Wheelbarrow Hall Farm.

Consultation closed at the end of March, but no date has yet been set for the plans to be discussed by the committee.

Neil Fell has submitted a planning application for a single two-blade wind turbine, which measures 71m to the tip, on farmland by the A69.

Angry residents, led by Eddie and Sheila Thomson, of Holme Fauld, began gathering names on a petition against the proposals, and encouraging all residents to write to the council or to MP John Stevenson objecting.

Despite the rallying cry, of the responses received by the council, 66 are opposed to the plans, and 40 are in favour.

Mr Thompson, of Oak Bank, Scotby, was a particularly vehement objector. In his comments to the council, he said his primary objection to the turbine was because of the size and “resulting detrimental impact on visual amenity”.

Mr Thompson said its size made it almost twice the height of nearby electricity pylons and would be the “dominant visual feature” both on the landscape and for nearby residents.

A generic letter was also submitted to the committee by a number of different households in Scotby, and the Ministry of Defence was known to have objected to the plans on the grounds the turbine could interfere with radar at nearby RAF Spadeadam.

However, English Heritage have given their support to the proposals, despite admitting the turbine will fall within the buffer zone of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site and be visible from the wall itself.

Mike Collins, historic enforcement advisor archaeology (Hadrian’s Wall), said in his letter: “It seems clear that while the development will be visible from Hadrian’s Wall, it would not interrupt any known key visual communications routes south from the wall line.

“As such, we have concluded that the current proposal will not impact on our ability to comprehend Roman military planning and land use.”

Stobart Air have also given their approval on behalf of Carlisle Airport, saying it is “committed to working with wind energy developers”.

However, it has asked that a condition of its support is that any alterations to the plans are discussed with the airport, and that should changes in statutory aviation legislation affect the turbine, then the owners will take immediate corrective action.

Sarah Fell, from Wheelbarrow Hall Farm, said the site was ideal to make the most of the wind for efficient energy production, and that a survey had concluded its impact was “minimal” on nearby residents.

She added: “This wind turbine provides an excellent opportunity to facilitate vital farming practices during this period of austerity.”

Source:  By Emily Parsons, The Cumberland News, www.cumberlandnews.co.uk 13 April 2012

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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