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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

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Plan for massive turbines near Carlisle dropped

An energy firm has dropped plans to build a windfarm with turbines up to 400ft tall at a remote north Cumbrian outpost.

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Kershope Forest: Near proposed turbines site

Banks Renewables had proposed putting up to 10 masts – taller than Carlisle’s Civic Centre and Dixon’s Chimney – to the north east of the city.

The company unveiled its proposals in 2009, triggering objections and fears that it could form part of a string of developments in rural north Cumbria.

But it has now confirmed that initial plans for theproject, called Stonechest, have been axed because the “technical requirements” for the scheme didn’t stack up.

It had been proposed that the turbines would be built in an area of commercial forest on the south side of Kershope Forest, between Longtown and Newcastleton.

The firm has now announced that, having reviewed the needs of the scheme, experts had decided it was not “technically feasible” to take their plans further.

It has not, however, ruled out bringing further proposals forward for developments in Cumbria.

Phil Dyke, Banks Renewables’ development director, said: “While it’s obviously disappointing to have to take this decision, we remain committed to putting forward carefully designed windfarm proposals for appropriate locations and landscapes within Cumbria.

“Onshore windfarms have a crucial role to play in helping us meet the twin challenges of producing more of the energy that we all consume from sources other than the traditional ones we’ve used for the last century, and reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere.

“As well as generating substantial amounts of renewable energy, our onshore windfarm also bring a range of other benefits to communities, including new jobs, contract opportunities for local businesses and benefits funds.”

Stonechest was one of a number of windfarm plans on the table for north Cumbria, particularly the Longtown area.

Campaigners have claimed two victories in their fight against them as the applications for two – one at Hallburn Farm, the other at Beck Burn Peat Works – were dismissed by a government inspector.

Arthuret parish council and many Longtown residents objected to the windfarms, claiming they would damage scenery and the tourism industry.

The MoD claimed the turbines would affect nuclear test monitoring equipment at their site in Eskdalemuir, near Langholm.

CStory@cngroup.co.uk

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