A “noisy” wind farm in Furness could be given the green light to continue operating for another decade despite being at the centre of scores of complaints.
The operators of the Askam and Ireleth wind farm want to keep it running until August 2029 after its 20-year-old permission expired this summer.
John Woodcock, the independent MP for Barrow and Furness, has written to Barrow Borough Council urging the application be refused, and said that there is “compelling evidence” to suggest it was the noisiest in the country.
The council’s planning committee, chaired by Councillor Colin Thomson, will hear the application at a meeting in the town hall on Tuesday, September 10.
A 114-page report shows that the seven turbines at Far Old Park Farm, Broughton, Road, Dalton, have continued to provoke residents.
In the last five years, 35 complaints have been lodged with the council alone, with some citing ‘horrendous’ noise and blaming the site’s topography.
One objector wrote: “To allow it to continue operating for another 10 years and ruin peoples’ lives is totally unacceptable.”
Askam and Ireleth Parish Council does not support the time extension and claimed the turbines only run at ’14 per cent efficiency’.
The parish council wrote: “There have been complaints from neighbouring properties about noise nuisance with difficulties with shadow flicker.”
Asset managers Cannock Wind Farm Services Ltd have submitted the application, backed by the Leeds office of ‘global law firm’ Squire Patton Boggs.
Lawyers have pointed out that council planners have ‘limited experience’ of such applications and have said they want to ensure the application is ‘dealt with correctly’.
“Even if members (councillors) are tempted to wander into more general planning territory they will no doubt be made aware of the very recent decision at Kirkby Moor,” said a letter from the law firm to the council.
They argued that the wind farm makes a ‘valuable contribution’ to energy and added: “Such contributions should not be thrown away in this time.”
Cannock Wind Farm Services say that a recent replacement of the noise management system and further improvements “will reduce the noise nuisance experienced by the affected properties”.
It had “endeavoured to engage” with any complaints about noise, it added.
Barrow council’s principal planning officer Charles Wilton has recommended that the application be approved – provided that extra noise mitigation measures are introduced and a noise management plan submitted.
The application follows the recent Kirkby Moor wind farm verdict by Government planning inspector Phillip Ware. After a public inquiry, he ruled that the controversial farm could stay another eight years.
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