A legal dispute has erupted between Haverigg residents and developers planning to build a new windfarm.
Homeowners in Combe View and North Lane, near HMP Haverigg, claim they own the rights to the road outside their properties. However Partnerships for Renewables (PFR), which wants to construct five wind turbines on land owned by the prison, wants to use the road to transport materials during building.
The residents say they are unwilling to grant permission for PFR to use the road.
David and Mary Amos, who moved to Combe View to retire, say the road is completely unsuitable for the heavy traffic that would pass through. Mr Amos, 69, said: “The road is too narrow for such heavy lorries and there would be constant traffic. It would be like a main road.”
Mrs Amos, 73, said: “If there is an emergency we might not be able to get out. A few years ago there was work done to repair a turbine and we were completely blocked in.”
PFR says it has offered to take responsibility for resurfacing the road along North Lane, but Mr Amos said: “The road is unadopted, so we have to maintain it ourselves. We have told them they do not have permission but they have not listened.
“We are not against the windfarm but I don’t understand why they can’t use another route.”
The couple fear for the safety of their grandchildren who visit the property if heavy lorries are using Combe View.
The Evening Mail has seen legal documents suggesting the road at Combe View does belong to residents. The plan is being considered by planning officers at Copeland Borough Council.
A spokesman for PFR said: “The Ministry of Justice possesses a right of way along North Lane in order to access the prison. Our legal advice is clear that the secretary of state has the ability to confer that right upon PFR as its tenant.
“In order to provide a tangible benefit to the residents of Combe View and North Lane, PFR has offered (subject to Copeland Council granting planning permission for proposed turbines at HMP Haverigg ) either to re-surface North Lane or, alternatively, place the £150,000 cost of doing so into a fund for future maintenance of the road.”
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