Plans to build a single wind turbine on the outskirts of an idyllic village have caused an atmosphere of fear and anger among the community.
Residents in Kirkby are enraged about plans to erect a 60-metre high turbine at the sewage works, a short distance from the village.
The proposal was announced a few weeks ago when residents received a small pamphlet from United Utilities, the company which owns the water works, through their letterboxes.
After a brief consultation, the plans are now being prepared to be submitted to Cumbria County Council but residents are determined to put a stop to the proposal.
Jason Slater is leading the campaign. He said: “The site is located just 600 metres away from houses in Soutergate and some residents are even closer.
“It’s my belief that the development of the site is inappropriate.”
Residents have highlighted a number of concerns about the plans which include the audible and visual impact of the turbine as well the wider effect it will have on the Duddon Estuary, a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
John Murray, another resident, said: “I’m not against wind turbines as long as they are sensitively placed but I was astounded to see this proposed.
“It’s one thing to see turbines a good distance away but it’s another thing to see it located 500 metres away from my home, but not just my home, the entire village.”
Residents also claim that the pamphlet has misrepresented the scale of the project. The literature released about the plans compares the size of the turbine to Blackpool Tower, but Mr Slater believes the tower has been made 10 per cent larger than its actual size, making the turbine appear smaller.
He said: “It looks smaller because they’re using a really big structure to make it look smaller.
“Talking to people in the village they are really shocked at how big the turbines are on Kirkby Moor. The ones on there are around 43 metres so this one (60 metres) is massive.”
However, United Utilities has strongly denied that the leaflet is misleading. A spokesman said: “The dimensions of the wind turbine are clearly shown and are accurate, and will be included in the final planning application.
“We do not agree that the image on the leaflet is misleading. It is a piece of artwork, and should be treated as such.
“Like any artwork, it includes various design elements. It is not an architectural plan, or a precise design specification.
“The exact design and measurements will be available for inspection at the planning office when we submit at the end of April.”
With winds turbines and electricity pylons popping up around the county, Mr Slater is concerned about the number of developments in the area and is determined to help preserve the beauty of the village.
He said: “I love Kirkby, I love the people in it and I love the beautiful landscape we inhabit. We cannot allow this place, it’s people and our environment to be oppressed in this way, enough is enough.”
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