Eden councillors have rejected a planning application for the erection of a wind turbine measuring 23m to blade tip on land to the south west of the Southwaite motorway services area.
The application, which was made by Urban Wind Ltd. and had been recommended for approval by officers, was discussed by the council’s planning committee at a meeting held at Penrith.
The committee heard that officers believed the visual impact of the proposed turbine would be “acceptable”, but there had been 90 objections to the application, including one from Hesket Parish Council.
One of the objectors was Richard Gill, Southwaite, who described the turbine as a “rotating industrial structure” which would be a prominent feature in the landscape and have an “overwhelming visual impact”.
According to Mr. Gill, the turbine would be within 300 metres of two properties, the residents of which would suffer constant noise from the rotating blades.
Mr. Caine, the agent for the applicant, claimed the turbine would be a “small agricultural scale development” which would allow the farmer on whose land it would be located, Mr. George, to continue to run a viable business in the long term. “The harvesting of wind power would be in complete sympathy with farming practices,” he said.
According to Mr. Caine, the presence of other tall structures and trees in the vicinity would lessen the turbine’s visual impact, while the orientation of the nearby dwellings meant noise levels would be acceptable.
John Thompson (Con, Penrith) said the application should be refused because of the visual impact the turbine would have in a location between the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Beauty and the Lake District.
Grattan Bowen (Lib Dem, Penrith) said he did not consider the turbine to be “small scale” and that it would have a negative impact in the area.
Councillors decided by eight votes to three that they were “minded to refuse” the application, a final decision on which will be taken at their September meeting.
The committee approved an application by Mr. H. Lowthian for permission to erect an 11kw turbine, mounted on an 18m lattice mast and with a blade tip height of 24.5m, at West Brownrigg Farm, Plumpton.
There had been no objections to the proposal, with Mr. Bowen describing it as a “modestly sized lattice turbine”.
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