May 3, 2012

Villagers’ concern over wind turbine plan for New Hutton

By Stephanie Manley, Reporter, The Westmorland Gazette, 3 May 2012

Villagers have spoken out over plans for a wind turbine they claim will ‘dominate’ their tiny community.

New Hutton farmer Peter Ellis has stirred up residents with his planning application to South Lakeland District Council for a near 80-metre high turbine on Hawkrigg Hill.

Opposition to the plan is mounting from residents worried about the visual impact the ‘striking’ feature would have on the landscape.

Alison Mason, owner of Ashes Caravan Park, thought the energy-generator would ruin the view from the village.

“The landscape is particularly beautiful and quiet and that’s why many of us have chosen to live and work here,” she said.

“The turbine would be fairly high up on the hill and would be visible from most properties – at 80 metres high it will tower above everything else and the scale of it is just horrifying.”

Villager Michael Burke said although he would not be able to see the turbine from his house, the visual effects would be wider reaching.

“It is such a lovely, undeveloped area but the turbine would completely reduce its aesthetic value,” he said.

“Not only will it impact on the people in the village but you will be able to see it from miles around, including from surrounding fells.

“The Helm and Hay Fell are popular with walkers and bikers but the appearance of this land would be completely altered if this goes ahead.”

Janet Hunt, who lives at Hawkrigg Lane, said: “We have bats, nesting owls and curlews and many other birds that may be affected by the noise of the development. It’s very worrying.”

Dr Mike Hall, of Friends of Eden, Lakeland & Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS), said: “Having assessed the site it is clear the structure will utterly dominate New Hutton and the surrounding very attractive landscape, which is highly sensitive to change.

“In addition, the turbine will add very significantly to the cumulative impact of wind turbines on New Hutton. Already the Lambrigg turbines are visible from parts of the village and all six Armistead turbines will be visible by the end of this year. The recent Banks proposal for Killington Lake will add further to the detraction of this area.”

Mr Ellis did not wish to comment when contacted by the Gazette.

Meanwhile, SLDC’s planning committee turned down a similar application for a turbine in Great Urswick, Ulverston, this week.

Nathan Welch, of Kenetica Energy Ltd, proposed a 20.3 metre turbine on agricultural land south east of Birkrigg.

Locals objected to the plans for the same reasons as those at New Hutton.

Committee members refused the plans after hearing that seven applications for wind turbines had recently been lodged with SLDC in the west of the district.

Counss Janette Jenkinson and Mary Wilson said the area was becoming ‘wind turbine city’.

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