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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Cumbrian MP backs campaign against plan for huge wind turbine

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart is backing a campaign against wind turbines that would be double the height of Carlisle Civic Centre.

Rory Stewart photo
Rory Stewart

West Coast Energy wants to build three 377ft turbines at Carwath Farm near Rosley.

Local residents have set up Act – Against Carwath Turbines – to fight the proposals.

Mr Stewart addressed 200 protesters at the site last weekend.

The Conservative MP told them that he was “strongly opposed” to any more turbines in his constituency.

He said: “The centre of our economy is tourism and the centre of our area is the Lake District National Park.

“The 3m visitors who come every year, and support tens of thousands of jobs, come because this is one of last unspoilt landscapes in Britain.

“The impact of 350ft-high, industrial, white-spinning metal on the sound, the look and the soul of the intimate scale of the northern fells of the Lake District is immense, and immensely negative.

“It would be a poor short-term decision for our economy.”

Mr Stewart has created a website – www.cumbriawindwatch.co.uk – as a focal point for anti-windfarm groups across Cumbria.

Rosley parish council is also opposed to the Carwath scheme.

The deadline for submissions to Allerdale Council, which decides on the planning application, is on Friday.

Anyone wanting to comment can go to Allerdale Council’s website – www.allerdale.gov.uk – select ‘search for planning applications’ then type in the reference number 2/2013/0227.

West Coast Energy says the turbines would generate enough electricity to power 3,960 homes.

Over its 25-year life, the windfarm would reduce CO2 emissions by 212,850 tonnes by providing green electricity that would otherwise have been produced by fossil fuels such as coal or gas.

It has promised to donate 10 per cent of the profits from the windfarm to benefit the local community and says it has “engaged” with nearby residents by holding public consultations in September.

Steve Salt, planning and public affairs director for the firm, said: “We feel that we have identified an appropriate location for a small-scale three-turbine windfarm.

“A detailed and comprehensive environmental-impact assessment was submitted as part of our planning application and this will be considered by the local authority’s planning department.”

He added: “We are committed to sharing the financial benefits of our projects.

“Only last week we announced details of a landmark fuel-poverty fund and residents living in the vicinity of Flimby windfarm will be the first in England to benefit from this arrangement.”

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