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Saturday, 04 July 2015

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Council set for head-on clash with windfarm firm

COPELAND Council is set to collide with a renewable energy giant over its refusal to allow a controversial £17million windfarm to be built.

Banks Renewables, the firm behind the six-turbine Weddicar Rigg development, has appealed to the government against Copeland’s decision to refuse planning permission.

The government’s Planning Inspectorate will hear both sides at a public inquiry on July 9 before making the final ruling. The venue is yet to be confirmed.

Copeland has hired a barrister to defend its position, and the successful party can apply to have its substantial costs met by its opponent, and the Inspectorate takes a decision.

Copeland councillors voted in October last year for the second and final time against the windfarm – complete with six 115m high (377ft) turbines – earmarked for an elevated area of land between Moresby Parks and Frizington.

Councillors ruled – against their own officers’ recommendation – that the negative visual impact the windfarm would have was more important than the government’s policy on renewable energy.

They had been asked to consider that the package of community benefits – including an apprentice scheme with Lakes College to create 600 positions and a minimum £30,000-a-year donation to a community fund for the 25-year lifespan of the windfarm – when making their decision.

The plans attracted 662 letters of objection, including those from Moresby, Arlecdon and Frizington and Weddicar parish councils, and 124 letters of support.

Phil Dyke, Banks’ developments director, said at the time that was “extremely disappointed” at the refusal, adding: “The generation of substantial amounts of renewable energy is only the beginning of the compelling argument that we believe we made in favour of the Weddicar Rigg windfarm, and it would provide an opportunity to build a long-lasting legacy across many different fronts.”

Have your say

Since when has a 'community fund' been part of a planning application? A bribe is a bribe, call it what you will, it is still a bribe.
There are very little, if any, local jobs generated by the building of windfarms. Once they are up and running, no local jobs at all. It has already been proven that the propellors have an adverse effect on local wildlife. They blight the countryside. The input to the national grid is negligable. Penalties are paid by taxpayers when the turbines have to be shut-down due to high winds (ironical).
Before all you wide(wild)-eyed zealots of 'The Energy Coast', and this includes the MP for Copeland, start huffing and puffing about the 'benefits', start listening to what the majority of people are now saying: 'enough is enough'. Stop blighting out countryside with these inefficient, expensive to run, expensive to maintain, minority production eye sores.
NB One benefit of the recent snow fall in Dumfrieshire has been the inability to see these monstrosities that have been erected in the Solway Firth because they have blended in with the background.

Posted by Observer on 29 March 2013 at 14:11

CF - turbines just might make one kettle boil, but only if it's windy, or not too windy. The more turbines that are built, the closer we will be to the stone age. We need proper power stations. Banks appeal should be refused and leave this area unspoilt.

Posted by TH on 23 March 2013 at 15:27

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