Controversial plans to replace a wind farm have been recommended for refusal by a planning officer.
The 12 turbines at Kirkby Moor Wind Farm, which stands less than a mile outside the Lake District National Park, were installed in 1993.
Energy giant RWE wants to replace the turbines with six 115m-high ones – a proposal which was met with objections from conservation groups, environmentalists and councils straight away.
Planning officer, Kate Lawson, has now also shared her objections and has recommended it for refusal.
She said: “Although the proposal will make a tangible contribution to targets for renewable energy generation, this does not outweigh the harmful landscape, visual and cumulative impacts of the proposed development including the adverse impacts upon the setting of the Lake District National Park.
“There are also a number of unresolved issues relating to impacts upon the archaeological interests, impacts upon Ministry of Defence and other communications networks, and highways and drainage.”
Mrs Lawson then lists five reasons why the application should be refused by the planning committee at South Lakeland District Council.
One of the reasons was the ‘significant harmful effect’ the turbines will have on the landscape of the Lake District National Park.
The planning application which was submitted last year by energy company RWE was met with objections from the beginning.
Objections came from 15 parish councils, as well as Ulverston Town Council and Cumbria County Council.
They all feared that the larger turbines would impact negatively on the scenery, tourism and local wildlife.
John Hudson, a resident from Woodland, Broughton has been against the proposed plans from the beginning.
He said: “This is an application for something huge that is high on the skyline and can be seen from 45 miles away – right next to our finest National Park.
“I’m surprised that the application wasn’t pulled months ago when Air Traffic Control and the Ministry of Defence objected.
“To continue with the application after that, is either outright arrogance or rank stupidity.”
RWE Innogy UK’s Kirkby Moor Project Developer, Chris Gainey said: “It is very disappointing that the committee report recommends the project for refusal. Disappointing for us, and for the 1,100 people who have already written in support of our plans to repower the existing wind farm.
“Repowering the existing wind farm would mean a significant increase in renewable energy.”
SLDC’s planning committee will be making a decision on the wind farm on Thursday at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston at 10am.
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