Distington turbine protest blown off course
Last updated at 11:32, Thursday, 22 August 2013
DISTINGTON is becoming “surrounded by wind turbines in every direction,” a meeting has heard.
The concern for the village was raised as councillors awarded planning permission to another turbine in the vicinity – a 45½-high structure at Stubsgill Farm.
Ahead of a narrow vote ruling in favour of the application, members of Copeland’s planning panel were split as to the pros and cons of this, and other, turbines in the area.
Councillor Stephen Haraldsen said: “My concern is the significant visual impact; we should not add a turbine into a landscape [between Distington and Pica] that is currently free from them.
“It’s becoming a wind turbine landscape when you look out from Distington; the village is being surrounded and soon there will be nowhere you can look for 360 degrees without seeing a turbine.”
Coun John Jackson said: “I would hate to live in Distington; it’s like Custer’s last stand – being surrounded by these monsters.”
And Jackie Bowman, a Distington councillor, added: “You can see turbines from every street in Distington. Environment issues are taking precedent over people. I know our hands are tied, but people should be taken into consideration more.”
Sixteen letters of objection were sent to Copeland, raising concern about impact on views and wildlife, as well as noise and shadow flicker.
Councillors voted to go with their officers’ recommendation that the turbine should be allowed due to its renewable energy benefits. It will remain in situ for 20 years.
Evidence was offered, following consultations with various bodies, that “it is likely there would be no negative effects of erecting such a large single turbine in this location in relation to the issues of noise, shadow flicker, transport and access, and heritage/archaeology”.
Councillors were told: “Although it is acknowledged that the proposed turbine would have an adverse visual and landscape impact in the local vicinity, these impacts are not considered to be so significant that they demonstrably outweigh the benefits of this scheme.”
Coun Gilbert Scurrah added: “I am all for this. It is a sparse and windy area which can go back to nature very quickly after the turbine is removed.”
The meeting also heard from Coun Jackson, who claimed that Copeland “lacks consistency” in its decision-making on turbines.
He said: “We seem to have an ad-hoc approach – we allow some and not others – and we are not listening to the objections of the community.”
Coun Jackson’s claim was refuted by Nick Hayhurst, the council’s senior planning officer. He said: “We can’t have a broad-brush approach. We look at each application individually on its size, site and landscape, and some are acceptable and others are not.”
Coun Margarita Docherty added: “We can’t refuse all turbine applications. We have to accept that some are more suitable than others.”
A five-year extension for a turbine to be allowed to be in place in Low Moresby has been denied.
An application had been made to allow the turbine planned for land adjacent to Watch Hill to be in place for 25 years rather than the agreed 20 years.
Councillors voted to turn down the extension, against the advice of their officers, meaning the matter will return next month for a second and final decision.
Couns John Jackson and Alan Jacob gave the view that an extension should only be agreed towards the end of the 20-year period, once any impact has been felt.
First published at 11:25, Thursday, 22 August 2013
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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What a load of poppycock. Wind power is a fantastic idea, and besides.. Who actually gives two hoots about the aesthetic effect of a few turbines.. I mean, it's not as if the stretch between Distington and Pica is an area of outstanding natural beauty, is it?Yet at the same time we've got councillors wanting to shove a load of nuclear waste underground in an area that is geologically unsound.. not to mention proposals for fracking. More interested in getting a few quid from the Sellafield lot, they should all be thrown in the stocks. Bunch of wasters.Personally, I'd be in favour of shutting down Sellafield and installing a wind turbine on the roof of every house in Cumbria.
Wind energy is needed because wind power is a well proven and cost effective technology. Wind energy is good for the planet as it reduces the emission of greenhouse gases which are caused by human activities. It also is good for the economy of countries because it reduces dependency on oil and gas imports which improve the balance of payments as well as increasing energy supply security. But if these are so good why is the average house hold paying Â£1000s a year to run there houses ??
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