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Cumbrian wind turbine protesters aiming to present united front  

Credit:  By Chris Story | 28 November 2014 | www.in-cumbria.com ~~

Campaigners fighting a string of wind turbine plans in north Cumbria are preparing to present a united front.

Concerns are growing among those opposed to masts about the number of schemes being tabled for land between Carlisle and Penrith.

A number of applications have been tabled or are mooted for the A6 / M6 corridor, including one at Barrock Fell, Aikegate, and another at Southwaite.

Opponents are holding talks on December 13 to decide what step they should take in their various fights and to see what they can do together.

The meeting has been arranged by members of NO2AWT, which is opposing plans for the 250ft (76m) turbine at Barrock Fell.

Chairman Alan Daltrey said: “It is now more important than ever that we pull together to stop the significant detrimental impact that turbines will have on our landscape, villages, homes, health and economy.

“We are small rural communities that greedy developers see as easy targets. If we support each other, we can gain the numbers we need to oppose these scatter-gun planning applications that are purely about profit, not sustainable renewable energy.”

Wind turbines remain a contentious issue across north Cumbria. Supporters argue they bring benefits in terms of renewable energy.

Opponents are vigorous in their argument that they are a blot on the landscape that can harm the visitor industry and the area’s economy.

Those at the meeting will hear from Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart, one of the county’s most high-profile anti-turbine campaigners.

He will update them on his work to resurrect a Parliamentary bill previously spearheaded by the late Lord Reay which would demand a minimum distance between turbines and homes.

Mr Stewart said: “In a region where tourism is our main income earner, we are directly dependent on our natural landscape as one of the last unspoilt regions in Britain.

“Building wind turbines risks a deep and long-term negative impact on the economy of Cumbria.”

The NO2AWT says it has more than 200 supporters and is drawing up formal objections to the Barrock Fell development.

Secretary Jan Whitfield said: “We need to protect Barrock Fell from such an out of scale, inappropriate development that would dominate the skyline for miles around.” Those against the Barrock Fell plan fear any turbine would not only spoil views across the Lake District National Park and North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, but also pave the way for other turbine bids.

Harmony Energy is behind the Barrock Fell plan. Speaking previously about the proposal, the firm said: “We believe that the nearest non-farming properties are well over 700m from the site. We do look at the sites and listen to concerns.”

Source:  By Chris Story | 28 November 2014 | www.in-cumbria.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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