A lobbying group has been formed to galvanise opposition to the extension of a Furness windfarm’s life.
Kirkby Moor Protection (KMP) is drawing its members from individuals and parish councils who opposed the planning application as well as organisations such as The Friends of the Lake District.
The 25-year planning consent for the 12 turbines, between Broughton-in-Furness and Ulverston, is due to expire at the end of this month and a public inquiry is due to be held next January into a move to have its life extended.
London-based Zephyr Investments was refused permission by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) to operate the windfarm for a further eight years, but the firm has now appealed.
The public inquiry will be held in Ulverston’s Coronation Hall when a government inspector will hear evidence from the SLDC and Zephyr over eight days from January 22.
KMP will also take part in the inquiry after being granted ‘Rule 6 Party’ status, allowing it to present its own evidence in support of the council’s case and cross-examine the appellants. The group has appointed an experienced advocate Geoff Sinclair, of Environment Information Services, who has appeared for local action groups at more than 120 windfarm public inquiries, six of them in Cumbria during the past 23 years.
KMP spokesman John Hudson, from Broughton-in-Furness, said: “We offer a local dimension to the Inquiry process which will add substantively to SLDC’s evidence.
“We are currently finalising our own preliminary statement and will be meeting SLDC in the near future to ensure that all argument against the windfarm will be presented effectively to the inquiry inspector.
“Planning guidance has shifted over the last few years and plans for windfarms can now only be approved with the backing of the local community. KMP will be providing evidence to help protect this wonderful skyline landscape and show that the Kirkby Moor turbines are as unwelcome today as when they were imposed on this community 25 years ago.”
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