A rejection of the plan to extend the life span of the wind farm on Kirkby Moor has been hailed as a triumph for local democracy.
On Tuesday (5) members of the South Lakeland District Council planning committee turned down a request to keep the turbines turning until 2027.
In a packed out Coronation Hall in Ulverston, the vote to refuse was carried by six votes to five. More than 20 residents and local councillors spoke out against the plan, imploring committee members to reject it.
After the decision was made, Rebecca Thomas, 46, of Netherhouses, near Ulverston, said: “It is a great day for local democracy, for social justice and the environment.”
Kirkby and Ireleth parish councillor Ian Winstanley was one of many locals opposed to the plan. A resident of Kirkby for 11 years, he said: “On a personal note I’m pleased with the application. I’m pleased for the parishioners of the area.”
Charity, Friends of the Lake District, also celebrated the decision to refuse, citing the detrimental impact the turbines had had on the landscape of the national park.
A spokesman said: “While recognising the importance of renewable energy development in providing clean energy sources, membership charity FOTLD believes that these turbines have served their purpose and are now at the end of their working life. Throughout their 25 years operation the turbines have a significant detrimental impact on the landscape and, in particular on the setting of the Lake District National Park, which is now a World Heritage Site.”
The Open Spaces Society was another county-wide group that was pleased with the councillor’s decision.
Kate Ashbrook, its general secretary said: “It is wonderful news that the council has rejected the plans. Now we need to make sure that every trace of the turbines is removed when the current consent expires next year, so that this magnificent common is restored to its former glory.”
A spokesman fron Innogy, the energy company which runs the wind farm, said: “We’d like to take this moment to state how grateful we are to the many people in the local community who have supported this application and expressed their desire for the wind farm to be allowed to continue generating clean, green energy.
“We still strongly believe in the public benefits of the proposal and will now work with the owners of the wind farm to consider the options in light of this decision.”
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