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Blocked Longtown windfarm plans looked at again

Controversial windfarm plans blocked by a Government minister are to be looked at again.

Cornwall-based firm REG Windpower is to resubmit proposals for six 126 metre-high (413 ft) turbines at Hallburn Farm, near Longtown. These would be three times the height of Carlisle’s Civic Centre.

Its first application to put them up was rejected by Carlisle City Council in August 2011.

The company argued that construction should go ahead. A planning inspector recommended approval after a public inquiry held in Carlisle last year, where several local people spoke out against the application.

However, Eric Pickles – Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government – dismissed the recommendation after the Ministry of Defence claimed the turbines would affect nuclear test monitoring equipment at their site in Eskdalemuir, known as an array.

Now, however, REG have announced plans to resubmit the application and are holding an information day in Longtown Memorial Hall Community Centre next week.

A spokesman for the firm said: “Our rigorous technical and environmental studies show that it is an ideal site for a wind farm and we were pleased that the inspector also found that the application was entirely appropriate.

“While the application was refused by Secretary of State Eric Pickles we believe that a solution has been found to his only objection regarding potential effects on the Eskdalemuir seismic array.”

The company has encouraged local people to attend.

The spokesman added: “We are also proposing to establish a community fund worth £60,000 per year to support local good causes throughout the wind farm’s operating life and would be keen to hear from local people with ideas for how this money could be spent.”

The open day will take place between 2pm and 8pm on Wednesday.