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Council set for head-on clash with windfarm firm  

Credit:  By Andrew Clarke | 21 March 2013 | www.in-cumbria.com ~~

Copeland Council is set to collide with a renewable energy giant over its refusal to allow a controversial £17million windfarm to be built.

Banks Renewables, the firm behind the six-turbine Weddicar Rigg development, has appealed to the government against Copeland’s decision to refuse planning permission.

The government’s Planning Inspectorate will hear both sides at a public inquiry on July 9 before making the final ruling. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

Copeland has hired a barrister to defend its position, and the successful party can apply to have its substantial costs met by its opponent, and the Inspectorate takes a decision.

Copeland councillors voted in October last year for the second and final time against the windfarm – complete with six 115m high (377ft) turbines – earmarked for an elevated area of land between Moresby Parks and Frizington.

Councillors ruled – against their own officers’ recommendation – that the negative visual impact the windfarm would have was more important than the government’s policy on renewable energy.

They had been asked to consider that the package of community benefits – including an apprentice scheme with Lakes College to create 600 positions and a minimum £30,000-a-year donation to a community fund for the 25-year lifespan of the windfarm – when making their decision.

The plans attracted 662 letters of objection, including those from Moresby, Arlecdon and Frizington and Weddicar parish councils, and 124 letters of support.

Phil Dyke, Banks’ developments director, said at the time that was “extremely disappointed” at the refusal, adding: “The generation of substantial amounts of renewable energy is only the beginning of the compelling argument that we believe we made in favour of the Weddicar Rigg windfarm, and it would provide an opportunity to build a long-lasting legacy across many different fronts.”

Source:  By Andrew Clarke | 21 March 2013 | www.in-cumbria.com

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