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Proposals for wind turbines on Haverigg prison land turned down

Resubmitted plans to build five 100m-high wind turbines on Haverigg prison land were rejected by a planning panel yesterday.

Scores of residents attended the Copeland Borough Council planning meeting which saw applicant Partnership for Renewables’ windfarm dreams dashed again.

It comes after the panel threw out PfR’s plans for 120m-high turbines in September – also because of concerns over “visual impact”.

Planning officer John Groves, who had recommended the application for approval, asked the panel at St John’s Church, Hensingham, to decide whether the reduction in proposed turbine height would adequately overcome the previous reasons for refusing the application. Mr Groves said: “The conclusion we (planning officers) have come to is that we do not believe there is a visual impact.”

After numerous speeches both for and against the application by residents, town councillors and local businesses at the meeting, the panel threw out the plans with a majority of six to one.

Henry Holmes, of Bank Head, Haverigg, raised concerns over the visual impact and said the land is an area of “outstanding beauty.”

He concluded: “Residents in Haverigg would be surrounded by turbines.”

The council had received 134 objection letters and a petition with 129 signatures against the application.

Concerns raised also included worries about the impact of the construction work on residents and businesses, and fears about the transportation of turbines, the safety of pedestrians, particularly children, and noise.

PfR had proposed a community benefit package of £75,000 a year and said the value of the work local supply chain businesses would be expected to win as part of the development was estimated to be between £5.5m and £7m.

Millom town councillor Janice Brown spoke in support of the application. It comes after last month’s town council meeting saw a vote of nine to three in favour of it.

Cllr Brown said: “As stated in my previous letter, the noise from the turbines is minimal. A new substation will be built to ensure the energy is received by National Grid. I know in some people’s eyes the community benefit package is not a lot of money but I can assure you it will be beneficial in our development of the area.”

A letter of support had been put forward by Port Millom to say plans would support businesses and the community fund would support the future of Haverigg and Millom.

A PfR spokesman said: “Naturally, we’re very disappointed. We believe the arguments in favour of this project are compelling and it seemed odd for the committee to refuse planning permission against the officer’s recommendation when Millom Town Council voted nine to three in favour and three serving councillors from the Millom area felt strongly enough to turn up and speak in its support.”