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Kirkby windfarm extension bid runs into storm of protest

Controversial plans to extend the life of 12 wind turbines have been met with opposition.

Permission for the windfarm at Kirkby Moor is set to expire in 2018, but an application has been lodged with South Lakeland District Council to extend that.

Plans to replace the existing turbines with six larger ones were rejected in 2015.

The proposal would see the wind turbines remain until March 2027.

Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, said: “We fought the current turbines back in the early 1990s and expected them to be removed in 2018. We are appalled at the prospect that they might remain until 2027, destroying a beautiful landscape and intruding on people’s enjoyment of this splendid common land.

“We have urged the district council to reject the application and to ensure that, once the current consent expires, the turbines, their bases, access tracks and all other paraphernalia are removed and the land is restored as a site of special scientific interest and common for all to enjoy.”

Chris Gainey, of Innogy who are agents for the application, said: “Kirkby Moor Wind Farm has a long history of producing clean electricity. On average the windfarm currently generates enough energy to meet the needs of 2,700 average UK homes each year, without the need for changes to the site or new turbines.

“The application also states how an improved habitat management plan will be put in place to boost the existing surrounding moorland, as well as an enhanced decommissioning process, which will go beyond what is required by the existing consent.”