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Objections as energy firm plans new north Cumbrian windfarm

A wind energy company is planning to put up six giant turbines on farmland near to the M6 between Carlisle and Penrith.

But residents living by the proposed Hay Close Farm windfarm between Low Braithwaite and Calthwaite are objecting to Cornish company REG Windpower siting the turbines near their homes.

The firm, which is in the process of gathering feedback, said the site is a perfect spot because:

  • the wind speed is very good;
  • access routes are close to the M6;
  • there is a nearby connection to the National Grid, and;
  • the site would have a minimal effect on locally or nationally designated environments.

A spokesman for REG Windpower said: “Following our initial studies, we believe this site could host up to six wind turbines, each measuring up to 126.5 metres to the tip of the blade.

“We will carry out further studies to make sure the site is suitable for a windfarm. This work will form part of any planning application and will focus on subjects including birds and wildlife, landscape and visual effects, noise, archaeology, transport and access, hydrology and aviation.”

Residents say they are worried about the noise and flicker from the turbines which – at 415ft – would be only slightly shorter than the London Eye. They also have fears that horses and livestock on nearby farms will be unsettled.

Resident Hilary Norman said: “This windfarm would completely overshadow us. Each turbine would tower above our house, like looking up to the top of Blackpool Tower.

“This is an area where we want people to visit and stay, to come cycling and touring, not to be put off by this industrial development.”

Jill Hunt, who lives next to Hay Close Farm, said: “If you drive for 100 miles down the M6, from north of Carlisle to south of Preston, you won’t see a bigger windfarm.

“People think that the turbines near Killington Services, are a blight on the landscape – but the ones planned for here are over 45m higher, and there are more of them.”

Jill’s neighbour Derek Hurton added: “They must have been planning this for a year or so, but no one has had the decency to find out what we think about it.

“What’s happened makes a mockery of the company’s claim that it wants to build strong relationships with local communities.

“The first we knew about the plans was getting home to find a letter saying they were coming the next day to install noise monitoring equipment in our garden.”

The developer hopes to submit a planning application in the summer. Two consultation days will take place; in Low Hesket Village Hall on Friday, May 16 from 2pm to 8pm and in Skelton Memorial Hall on May 17 from 10am to 2pm.

A spokesman for REG Windpower added: “Alongside the environmental benefits of clean, renewable energy that Hay Close Farm windfarm would bring, it would also bring benefits to the local community of £60,000 every year for the operational life of the windfarm.”

Have your say

Why won't these wind farm companies say how much these farmers are making from these turbines. And they always seem to install them in the least populated places ( less complaints ) , why not install them in some of the large parks in the London area ?.
I understand that the payments are between £5,000 to £10,000 per year for each turbine on your land for the next 25 years.

Posted by John Atkinson on 26 April 2014 at 21:30

So, Tim you would not mind if the 6 turbines were located less than 1km from your house, reducing the value of your property while one local landowner and REG get rich? This is not about renewables, it is about making money at the expense of locals.

Posted by Paul on 26 April 2014 at 18:38

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