The leader of Cumbria County Council has written to Parliament to express concern about the number of windfarms the county is being “subjected to”.
Eddie Martin has written to environment secretary Owen Paterson saying that our “most treasured landscapes will soon be surrounded by a ring of steel”.
Coun Martin is speaking at a time when Copeland Council is embroiled in a planning row with renewable energy firm Banks Renewables over its plans for the six-turbine Weddicar Rigg, on land between Moresby Parks and Frizington.
Copeland Council turned the plans down two weeks ago, but was told by Banks that it intends to take the matter to a public inquiry. However, Copeland has not yet received a formal appeal.
Coun Martin says in his letter: “Many Cumbrians are growing increasingly concerned in regard to the significant pressure the county is being subjected to in order to accommodate wind energy development. There is a strong feeling that Cumbria now has a very limited capacity to accommodate additional turbines.
“The cumulative impact of successive schemes is leading to concerns that our most treasured landscapes will soon be surrounded by a ‘ring of steel’.
“The local communities who have to live with the turbines often experience only negative impacts, and feel powerless to stop inappropriate developments, since the final decisions on many proposals are ultimately taken out of local hands, and made by a government appointed planning inspector. In the era of localism and the big society, this seems very unjust.
“It is also worth noting that defending a decision to refuse an inappropriate scheme at inquiry can be very costly for the local planning authority – a cost which must ultimately be borne by local people.”
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