Controversial plans for a larger turbine on land at Drigg has been unanimously refused by planners.
The proposal for a 57m turbine at Drigg Moorside Farm was turned down at a Copeland Council planning meeting last week.
The application was put forward by Stephen Shepherd. His agent said a 45.5m turbine, for which he has received planning permission but not yet erected, is “inefficient and would not be suitable from a technical point of view due to the weak grid structure in this part of Cumbria”.
The proposed new higher turbine has “an excellent track record,” the agent added. Planning permission remains in place for the smaller turbine.
Extensive consultations were undertaken and the council received 111 letters of objection, 108 of these from residents in Seascale, Drigg, Holmrook, Ravenglass and Eskdale.
Resident Margaret Dean asked councillors to reject the proposals on “visual amenity grounds”.
She said the proposals would detract from the character of the area. “It will not enhance the landscape, it will dominate the view,” she said.
Mike Harrington, from Ravenglass Village Forum, questioned the intentions of the applicant’s agent.
Both residents asked councillors to revoke permission for the smaller turbine.
Drigg and Carleton Parish Council strongly objected on the grounds of “significant adverse effect on the local landscape and amenity”.
The Lake District National Park, also objected, stating: “A turbine of the height proposed would be conspicuous and visually intrusive to the special qualities of the National Park”.
Further objections were made by Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunesdale Scenery and Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment while Friends of the Lake District had “some concerns”.
Coun Stephen Haraldsen said: “We’ve had a few of these applications recently to either replace a small turbine or make amendments to applications. It seems to me they are scratching around, by stating the other turbine is inefficient, to put in an application for a bigger turbine.”
Coun Geoff Blackwell said: “I know members will be mindful of the first application.
“There is no way to go back on that decision and therefore that one would stand.”
Councillors heard that the applicant’s agent had complained to the council for its extensive consultation.
Following the meeting, CounBlackwell told objectors: “I’ll make no apologies in seeking your views in the consultation. We value your views and we welcome you coming forward.”
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