Planners throw out controversial windfarm
Last updated at 08:47, Thursday, 13 September 2012
A CONTROVERSIAL windfarm which drew more than 650 letters of protest has been turned down.
Members of Copeland Council’s planning panel rejected the plans for a six-turbine windfarm, Weddicar Rigg, on an elevated area of land between Moresby Parks and Frizington. Officers had recommended approval.
However, Tim Knowles, county councillor for Cleator Moor North and Frizington, had earlier warned that plans for nuclear new-build at Sellafield could have been hampered if the £17million windfarm had been given the go-ahead.
He said the proximity of the windfarm was too close the area where new “super pylons” – necessary for nuclear new-build – would be located.
Weddicar Rigg, an elevated area of land between Moresby Parks and Frizington, would have housed six 115-metre turbines and associated infrastructure, if planning permission had been granted by Copeland Council planning panel.
Members had been urged by officers to approve the plans when they met this afternoon (Wednesday). They had been told that the package of community benefits – including a £50,000 apprentice scheme with Lakes College and a minimum £30,000-a-year donation to a community fund – would outweigh the harm.
However, the councillors almost unanimously rejected the application by Banks Renewables, which had said that contracts worth £3.5million would be on offer to local companies – and 25 to 30 jobs be created – during the construction.
But because the councillors' refusal went against the council officers' recommendation, the application will go back before the panel for a second opinion at October's meeting.
All three parish councils covered by the windfarm had objected. Moresby, Arlecdon and Frizington and Weddicar all raised concerns about visual impact in a rural setting, and the harmful effect they feel the windfarm will have on tourism and wildlife. Letters had also been sent to Copeland by 662 residents. Their concerns included devaluation of property and the cumulative impact in an area already “overrun” with wind energy developments.
Coun Knowles said before the decision was known: “Plans for nuclear new-build at Sellafield require a substantial strengthening of the National Grid – in the form of ‘super pylons’ – to enable large amounts of electricity generated to be exported from West Cumbria.
“Concerns over infrastructure clutter – ie the development of major windfarms close to or within super pylon corridors – have been addressed by officers engaged in the National Grid’s Planning Performance Agreement and are shared by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
“A recent statement by the chief executive at the Office of Nuclear Development within the DECC confirmed that it must not be ‘first-come, first-served’ and should not be turbines before pylons and that strategic energy considerations must be taken into account.”
Copeland’s planning panel is only permitted to rule on plans that are put in front of it, and may not predetermine plans that may or may not be lodged in the future.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks, said before the planning panel met: “This scheme has been carefully designed to not only produce significant amounts of renewable energy but to also bring a range of immediate and long-term benefits to the area that leave a positive legacy from its presence for decades to come.
“The Banks team has been working hard in the local area, and has found both substantial amounts of support for our proposals within the local community and a clear appreciation of the immediate benefits and long-term legacy on many fronts that would result from its construction.
“The generation of substantial amounts of renewable energy is only the beginning of the compelling argument that we believe we have made in favour of the Weddicar Rigg windfarm.”
First published at 16:05, Wednesday, 12 September 2012
Published by http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk
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Splendid news. We are fighting Banks who want to build 3 x 132 metre turbines between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks on the edge of the much used and enjoyed Killington Lake. It would make my year to see this company with all its half-truths and dishonesty, go bust!Register your support for STAK (Stop Turbines At Killington) at www.killingtonwindfarm.co.uk
At last, common sense prevails!! Do you ever see wind farms along the leafy lanes of Surrey? Nope!! De-industrialising the landscape around our towns is important....although I can't help wonder if Cllr Knowles motive had more to do with the position of his own home in relation to the proposed giant turbines. NIMBYism????
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