Controversial plans for two 110m high wind turbines near Sellafield should be rejected by the Government, urged Copeland Council’s planning committee.
Harming the landscape and the fact the plans were not backed by the local community were among some of the reasons the council recommended the Government refuse the application.
The Government will now make the final decision on the proposal after Airvolution Energy Limited successfully appealed to the Planning Inspectorate for it, rather than Copeland Council, to make the decision due to the time Copeland had taken to determine the case.
The turbines – said to be among the tallest in the county – are planned on land at Church House Farm, Calderbridge, at around 500m from the Sellafield site’s perimeter.
Members of Copeland’s planning panel originally visited the site in June 2014, and the complex application has been “held in abeyance”, says the authority, while additional information was being processed.
A second site visit took place earlier this month and although Copeland won’t now make the decision, it advised the Inspectorate to turn down the turbines.
The parish councils of Ponsonby, Gosforth, Beckermet with Thornhill, Drigg and Carleton, and Seascale have all objected, raising safety and security concerns about the turbines’ proximity to Sellafield, as well as wider environmental and aesthetic issues. In addition, 51 objection letters and a 68-signature petition have been lodged with Copeland addressing concerns such as effect on local views, health risks and noise pollution. The Lake District National Park Authority and Friends of the Lake District also object.
Three people spoke at the planning meeting to object to the plans, including Bob Jones, Ponsonby parish councillor and Calderbridge resident, who echoed the parish councils’ concerns about safety and security.
Neither Sellafield Ltd, the site’s owners the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, nor regulators the Office for Nuclear Regulation have objected. But the National Nuclear Laboratory, which has its central lab at Sellafield, has objected on safety grounds.
In terms of renewable energy, the turbines would generate enough to supply the equivalent of 2,300 households per year.
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