A giant turbine nearly as big as the tower of Big Ben will be built on the outskirts of Workington despite 800 protesters opposing it and the council turning it down.
A government inspector has ruled on appeal that Airvolution Energy can build the 303 ft turbine at Wythegill Syke at Seaton.
The plans drew fierce criticism from people living in nearby Seaton and Flimby when they were unveiled last year.
Two petitions with 800 signatures and more than 30 letters of objection were submitted to Allerdale council. It seemed like residents had won the battle after Allerdale’s development panel threw the plans out nine months ago.
But the energy company pressed ahead with an appeal for the turbine, which would power Siddick’s Eastman Chemical plant, and the inspector’s decision was revealed this week.
It has left people living in Seaton and Flimby in shock, as they can’t understand how the appeal was approved.
One of the residents who will be affected by the turbine the most is Glenis Jones, who lives at Barncroft Avenue in Seaton.
Mrs Jones’ home was visited by the planning inspector who told her that she lived the nearest to the site – 500 metres away.
Mrs Jones said of the decision: “It stinks. I will see it every day. I feel terrible as I will see it from my living room window and the back garden.”
Planning inspector David Cullingford said that “the apparent height and presence of the machine would not be oppressive, to the extent that unacceptable living conditions would ensue.”
Seaton councillor and resident Trevor Fee said that he was disgusted with the decision.
“The officer (planning inspector) hasn’t listened to the residents or took into account the petition. It has just made me speechless,” he said.
Airvolution says the turbine will provide major benefits to nearby communities. They say it will provide low cost renewable energy to Siddick’s Eastman Chemical plant to help keep the firm competitive and help secure the ongoing employment of the local workforce, income from business rates, jobs for local people through contracts for local businesses as well as an associated Community Benefit Fund.
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