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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Campaigners protest against new west Cumbria wind turbine plan

Anti-windfarm campaigners are fighting fresh plans to build a turbine in an area they say is already well developed.

Renewables Unlimited LLP has submitted a scoping request to Allerdale council about the possibility of erecting a 42m turbine on farm land at Crosscanonby, near Maryport.

But campaign group Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment (FORCE) is resisting the plans.

Chairwoman of the group Marion Fitzgerald said: “The application site is in an area which has already been well developed in terms of wind energy over recent years.”

She went on to say that Renewables Unlimited has a number of screening requests in the area - at Bullgill, Arkleby and Seaton.

She added: “There can be no question that this landscape has already received a great deal more in total than the small group of three to five, exceptionally six to nine, turbines which the Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Document suggests it can accommodate.”

She said there were a number of wind developments in the area at Tallentire, Flimby, Westnewton, Wharrels Hill and Siddick, which would lead to an acculmination of turbines.

The proposals come as it was revealed that Allerdale council is to investigate why the district has the most turbines – 62 per cent – of all the council districts in Cumbria.

The council investigation will look at data on turbine applications, refusals and appeals and the other five local planning authorities would do the same, the meeting heard.

Investigations will then look at how many turbine applications had needed environmental impact assessments and whether previous applications had included turbines that did not produce as much energy as they were predicted to.

Serious objections have also been raised to another windfarm development in the area at Potato Pot, Branthwaite.

The News & Star reported last week that Allerdale council had been bombarded with objections to a scheme by London-based Airvolution Energy Ltd, which would have turbines taller than Big Ben.

Cumbria County Council warned that if the application got the go-ahead, together with the other planned windfarms, it would take the total to 121 in a small area of Allerdale.

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