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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Cumbrian firm M-Sport drops wind mast plan

M-Sport is dropping a wind turbine from plans to create a cutting-edge research and development centre in Cumbria.

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Malcolm Wilson: Humbled by support and positive comments

The rallying and racing firm had included a 164ft tall mast in initial proposals as part of a groundbreaking project to break into the road car market, creating 100 jobs.

But the turbine is now not going to be pursued as part of the multi-million pound masterplan to overhaul the company’s country estate nerve centre after those living nearby said they were opposed to it.

Talks with neighbours have also led to a pledge by the company to work with highways chiefs to help improve road safety at Dovenby Hall, near Cockermouth, as well as promising to carry out safety training with young drivers.

M-Sport revealed plans earlier this month to create a state-of-the-art automotive evaluation centre unique to the UK at its county headquarters, from where its worldwidemotorsport operations are already planned.

They’re being fine-tuned following feedback from a community consultation held ahead of formal proposals being submitted to Allerdale Council. That’s expected to take place next month.

Executives are looking for other opportunities for sustainable energy development on the site.

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said: “Since announcing the development, we’ve been humbled by the support and positive comments from the community. Although energy efficiency and exploring sustainable energy options are of importance to M-Sport, we’ve decided to remove the wind turbine from the development plans.

“Furthermore, we will work closely with the local authority on road safety improvements around our site and promoting young driver safety training to further enhance the community.”

If approved, the new development centre would be home to an operation where manufacturers could have cars designed, built and tested – a move that would see the company break into the road car market.

Proposals also include building a 60-bedroom hotel and 25 homes to meet the demands that the scheme would bring.

Carlisle-based Northern Developments are spearheading the scheme’s design.

Business leaders have already welcomed the prospect of expansion at M-Sport.

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