A wind turbine which would have towered nearly 250ft above the countryside had been blocked by councillors after they said: “Enough is enough”.
The three-bladed turbine has been proposed for a field one kilometre from Great Orton village, west of Carlisle.
But the plan was narrowly rejected after three members of Carlisle City Council’s development control committee said it was time to make a stand against the proliferation of turbines.
Despite a plea from the man behind the planning application – which included the offer of £200,000 in funding for four good local causes – councillors rejected the turbine by six votes to five.
The first to voice concerns was Burgh councillor John Collier, who said he also spoke for the area’s parish council, whose members are unanimous in their opposition.
He said: “The main objection is how many more of these are we going to get?
“I remember the first six being put up at the airfield and there was a big hoo-ha. It caused a great deal of concern. Since then, we have had more, and more and more.”
A small-scale turbine would have been perfectly acceptable, he said. “But this one is on an industrial scale.
“We are dominated by turbines when you drive around Great Orton. All you can see is turbines.”
Councillor Collier said a recent study had shown how a large turbine was decimating bird and bat life.
Wetheral councillor Barry Earp questioned why the turbine had to be so big – 50 metres to its hub, and 74 metres to the blade tip, suggesting a smaller one could generate as much electricity.
“You could reduce it by at least 15 metres,” he said. “I can’t understand why we’re allowing these very large turbines when they’re not needed.”
Councillor Ray Bloxham, for Longtown and Rockcliffe, said: “We’re talking about the cumulative effect.”
He said he hoped members would not be swayed by the offer of funding for Great Orton’s school, church, village hall and parish council.
He added: “I’m concerned about when enough is enough. How many more do you have to put in before you say it’s having a cumulative effect. We’ve reached that stage, and we need to make a stand.”
Before councillors voted, they heard from the applicant, Jimmy Mulholland, who with his wife Anne runs Great Orton’s Mulholland’s Butchers and Midtown Farm.
He told how the business was started by his parents and grandmother 50 years ago, and now employs four full-time workers and the couple’s three sons. Using local suppliers, the company makes pies, sausages, cooked meats, and other produce, supplying cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels.
Mr Mulholland said: “Over recent years, running a rural business has changed dramatically, with lots of supermarkets opening and selling cut-price foreign meats.”
New regulations have led to a doubling of running costs, the most significant of these bills being for electricity. The turbine would help cut those running costs.
The turbine itself, he said, would look like part of a natural grouping with those already in the area.
He added that if the plan was approved Mullholland Butchers would give £2,500 a year to the village school, church, hall and parish council for the lifetime of the turbine – around £200,000 in total.
Mr Mulholland said he would appeal against the refusal.
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