The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was among more than 400 objectors to the erection of four 500ft-high wind turbines which would have towered over historic woodland near Calthwaite.
Due to the close proximity of the “industrial scale” turbines proposed by REG Windpower Limited at Hay Close Farm, Calthwaite, to the transmitter masts at Skelton, the MoD feared there would be interference with long range equipment used to communicate with Royal Navy vessels around the world.
Other objectors included Carlisle airport and consultee Joint Radio Company which said there would be an adverse effect on critical telecommunication links locally.
Eden Council’s senior development management officer, Daniel Addis, told a meeting of the authority’s planning committee that the Lake District National Park Authority had also objected to the application on landscape and visual impact grounds.
He said the council planning team’s assessment was that due to the fact the proposed location was a prominent site in an attractive landscape, the visual impact of the turbines would be “significant and adverse”.
Objector Derek Hurton gave an emotionally-charged address to councillors asking them to refuse planning permission for the scheme. He said the area, which included the ancient Inglewood Forest, had a rich agricultural heritage and the last thing it needed was a 21st Century development at its centre.
“What would make our children want to stay here? Why would our children want to come back after university? People don’t choose to live in a landscape littered with industrial wind farms. This is nothing short of asset-stripping,” said Mr. Hurton.
Nobody from the renewable energy company was at the meeting to address the committee, but councillors were told that, should the scheme go ahead, there would be financial benefits to the local community with £52,000 a year being channelled into it from the “green energy” profits made by the firm.
Henry Sawrey-Cookson (Ind All, Kirkby Thore) said he was amazed at the impertinence of the application, which would have caused totally unacceptable harm. He added that Mr. Hurton had given a “very emotional presentation” which he was sure councillors would not forget. The wind farm application was refused.
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