Allerdale council has made history by becoming the first authority in the country to put a limit on how close to homes wind turbines can be built.
In a new planning policy document, approved last night, the council said any future turbines must be at least 800m from the closest houses.
The decision came after a Government inspector agreed that the draft policy was “sound”.
The policy is part of a new local plan that will shape development across the borough for the next 15 years.
Among other policies included in the document is a requirement for housing developments of 10 or more homes to include 20 to 25 per cent affordable housing.
In Cockermouth, where there is a shortage of affordable housing and many young adults struggle to find homes in the town, that figure is 40 per cent.
Councillor Mark Fryer, executive member responsible for planning, said: “We tried to write the plan in a positive manner moving the borough forward over the next 15 years.”
The document was developed after several rounds of public consultation.
Mr Fryer highlighted the need for joined up working to get the best for the borough.
He highlighted the inclusion in the plan of a proposed southern relief road for Workington and the need to work with the county council, which owns the town’s port, so the area can benefit from economic investment in west Cumbria.
Councillor Marion Fitzgerald welcomed the plan and particularly the measures to limit wind turbines.
She said: “This is a really great achievement and it’s the result of a great amount of hard work by a lot of people – councillors, officers, the public and an inspector.
“An 800m setback distance is not a blanket ban on wind energy.
“With the other safeguards that make up the policy it will help protect the people of Allerdale from inappropriate wind development.”
Council leader Alan Smith added: “I welcome the affordable housing measures because it highlights that Cockermouth has a real problem with keeping youngsters in the area.”
The plan now forms a framework against which planning applications will be assessed.
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