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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Cheers as plans for wind turbine in Cumbrian village rejected

Residents of a Cumbrian village are celebrating after plans for a wind turbine near their homes were thrown out by planners.

Villagers from Oughterby, west of Carlisle, turned out in force to Allerdale council’s development panel meeting as the plans for Green Croft were discussed.

Scott Bertram, of Croft Engineering, wanted to install one turbine, with a 24.6m high hub, to provide power for the business and the homes of Green Croft and West View, which currently rely on oil-fired heating.

But the meeting heard that the proposal for the 25-house village had attracted 51 letters of objection.

Objectors concerns included the effect of the turbine on nearby residents, impact on house prices, health problems linked to turbines and the visual impact of an alien presence o the village.

One letter of support was received.

At the meeting, objector Mark Little said most properties faced the planned turbine. He added: “The only exception is the applicant’s house which faces away from the turbine. The scale and proximity will be unreasonable.”

Wendy Rickerby said generations in the village had chosen to stay in Oughterby because of its peaceful, open setting.

She added: “This turbine is inappropriate, unnecessary and will completely ruin a special place.

“It will ruin a farming environment and dominate the landscape.”

Vaughan Hodgson, of Marsh ward, told the meeting: “North Allerdale is fast changing from a rural landscape to a semi-industrial one because of the vast number of applications for turbines.

“If a mansion-type house was proposed in the country it would be unlikely to be approved. Why do turbines fall into a different category?”

Agent Dominic Cooney said objectors’ concerns had been considered and the proposal changed to move the turbine further from homes.

It could not be put further away because of the need to connect it with the buildings it would serve, he added.

Jim Lister proposed refusing planning permission on the grounds it would be prominent, intrusive and unneighbourly.

Councillors voted 10 to five to refuse planning permission, and villagers cheered as the decision was announced.

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