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Two Cumbrian wind turbine plans rejected

Planners have rejected two applications to build wind turbines amid fears that Cumbria would become overrun with the green energy generators.

The plans were up before Carlisle City Council’s development control committee.

The first was for land to the south east of Flatt Farm, in Kirkbampton, and proposed a 500kw turbine measuring almost 80m to the tip of the blade.

The developer’s agent accused committee members of taking decisions by ‘gut instinct’.

The application had been recommended for approval by planning officers and speaking at the meeting the agent said the plan conformed to planning guidlines, adding: “Gut feeling is a dangerous way to go.”

George Wills, a parish councillor from Great Orton, said that a majority of people were opposed to the scheme and it was too close to homes.

He added : “This turbine is taller than Dixon’s Chimney and in an elevated position.”

Mr Wills said that there would potentially be 10 wind turbines in the immediate area. He said: “These turbines are being treated as a cash cow by both the developers and the land owners.”

Councillor Willie Whalan rejected the agent’s comments and added: “I want to make it clear that I don’t go by gut instincts – I go by evidence.”

Councillor Ray Bloxham said: “This committee has never done things on gut feeling. We would have had shorter meetings if they had done.”

And he added it could not be described as a windfarm it was more of a cluster.

He said: “It’s not a farm they don’t produce anything apart from money.”

The plan was unanimously rejected by members.

The second application was for a 225kw turbine, measuring 45m to the tip near Peastree Farm in Durdar.

Shona Taylor, a council planning officer, said there was already permission for a smaller turbine at the site and this would replace it.

Councillor Bryan Craig said that he was not against wind turbines as long as they were in the right location and of the right size.

But Mr Whalen said he was against turbines and was concerned at the number Cumbria would end up with.

He said: “It’s going to destroy tourism and the environment.”

The plan was rejected – with six votes against, five in favour and one abstention – and it is understood that developers behind both applications will appeal.