Campaigners on both sides of the coin gathered to protest at the start of a public inquiry into the future of the Kirkby Moor Windfarm.
The eight day inquiry at Coronation Hall in Ulverston follows a decision made by South Lakeland District Council in December 2017 to deny Ventient Energy Ltd permission to extend the lifespan of the wind farm until 2027.
Six councillors to five voted to block the company’s proposal at the 12 turbine development.
Ventient Energy appealed the decision saying extending the wind farm’s lifespan would be beneficial for the community and the country’s green energy sector.
That came to a head yesterday when representatives from both SLDC and Ventient Energy Ltd made their opening statements, summarising their arguments regarding the future of the windfarm at Kirkby Moor.
The inquiry also heard from a spokesman for Kirkby Moor Protectors (KMP), an organisation formed by local residents in August 2018.
The group set out to represent the local people in their opposition to the renewal of the windfarm.
The group said it would provide evidence of residents’ opposition over the course of the inquiry.
“They (local objectors) do not wish to see a continuation of the turbines’ adverse impact on this open accessible heather moorland, on the horizon views, and on their legitimate enjoyment of the dramatic visual character of this unique and valued landscape,” said the spokesman.
The majority of those residents who will speak on behalf of KMP are due to speak next Wednesday.
Barrow MP John Woodcock is also set to voice his opinion on the future of the windfarm.
Commenting on the planning appeal, a spokesman for Ventient Energy said:
“We hope to extend the life of this existing wind farm until 2027. The Kirkby Moor Wind Farm has been operating successfully for years and our proposal does not entail any changes to the existing layout or the turbines.
“Our proposal was recommended for approval by the local planning officer, with no objection by either Natural England or the Lake District National Park Authority.
“If permission is granted, the wind farm will generate community benefit payments of up to £24,000 each year, which will support good causes in the area via the Kirkby Moor Wind Farm Community Fund.”
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