Controversial plans to build five giant wind turbines outside Ulverston – each taller than the tower which houses Big Ben – have been thrown out.
The scheme to place the 99.5-metre structures at Harlock Hill, near Pennington, was narrowly rejected by South Lakeland District Council planners at a meeting in Kendal yesterday.
Members of the planning committee voted against the proposal, from Barrow-based Baywind, by one vote.
Matt Russell, project manager for the site, branded the decision “extremely disappointing”. “We felt that we had a very strong case which we have worked carefully on for four years to ensure we had put the best application forward,” he said.
“We will now investigate the options given the strength, in our opinion, of our application and decide upon a course of action after we get a decision from Barrow next month.”
Barrow Borough Council planners will also debate the scheme at their April meeting. Planning permission from both authorities would be needed for the proposal to go ahead.
Scores of supporters had packed into Kendal Town Hall to hear the application.
Chris Dodwell, of Ulverston’s GlaxoSmithKline plant, was among a number of people speaking in favour of the structures getting the go-ahead. He said the firm intended to buy energy produced by the turbines as part of its bid to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Mr Dodwell said: “Purchasing green energy from this wind farm could support our drive to reduce costs greatly.”
But a number of opponents were also present to speak out against the plan.
Derek Woolerton, of Woolerton Planning, represented resident Stephen Parr. He said the effect on the residential amenity had been “grossly underestimated”, adding: “the impact on walkers and riders is severe and the visual impact significant.”
The case split the votes of two Ulverston councillors who both sit on SLDC’s planning board. Bharath Rajan voted in favour but Janette Jenkinson voiced strong concerns about the damage being inflicted on the area.
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