May 31, 2012

Turbines will make my son a prisoner in his own home

By Julian Whittle, News & Star, 31 May 2012

An anguished mum has told a public inquiry that a proposed 328ft wind turbine would make her autistic son a prisoner in his home.

Bolsterstone Innovative Energy is appealing against Carlisle City Council’s refusal of planning consent for the turbine at Newlands Farm, Cumwhinton.

Rebecca Mullins, who lives nearby, said her 10-year-old son Peter was susceptible to the noise and movement created by turbine blades. She said: “The noise will prevent him living a normal life.

“It will cause him to be a prisoner in his own home.”

She was worried that other children at Cumwhinton School, which has a unit for autistic children, would be affected too.

Another nearby resident, the Rev Elizabeth Smith, suffers from Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear. She believes that low-frequency noise from the turbine will trigger attacks.

She said: “These attacks are completely disabling and are accompanied by loss of balance and sickness.”

Maggie Cleave, who lives 650 metres from the site, said: “I am scared to death for my health and mental wellbeing.

“The increased risks from a turbine this size, this close to homes, is unknown. This turbine is gigantic.”

The inquiry also heard that the turbine might distract drivers on the M6.

A previous application for three turbines was turned down in 2010, following an inquiry, because the inspector felt they would have an unacceptable impact on Cringles Farm and Beech Cottage.

But James Welch, landscape architect appearing on behalf of Bolsterstone, said: “The visual impact from the current development will be markedly less intrusive than the scheme before the inspector in 2009. A single turbine will occupy a narrower field of view than three turbines in a row.

“I do accept that it will be a landmark and prominent in that location but I do not accept that it will be an incongruous element.”

He added that there were examples elsewhere of turbines closer to homes.

The inquiry at Carlisle Civic Centre is expected to end today but it is likely to be months before principal planning inspector Wendy Burden makes a decision.

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