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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Planning inspector gives go-ahead for north Cumbria wind turbines

Three huge wind turbines which had failed to get approval from Allerdale councillors will now go ahead after a planning inspector gave them the go-ahead.

The largest of the three planned masts will be installed at High Scales, between Wigton and Aspatria.

To be built in the middle of a field, it will soar 220ft into the air.

The development, being proposed by Empirica Investments Ltd, had been on course to be turned down after officers advised councillors against approval.

The developer lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that the council was taking too long to reach a decision.

In allowing the appeal for planning approval, the inspector pointed out that national guidance stated there should be a presumption in favour of sustainable developments of this kind.

The inspector dismissed fears that the turbine would have a harmful effect on the natural landscape.

His decision notice states that the effect would be “negilgible”, adding: “The proposal would contribute to the generation of renewable energy and would assist in meeting national and regional targets that seek to reduce carbon emissions in order to tackle climate change.

“The benefits of the proposal in providing renewable energy should be weighed against the harm that may result from he proposal.”

Another refused turbine – this one 203ft high – was proposed by Malcolm Ashworth for land at Brayton Park, Aspatria. Officers recommended that it should be approved but the council’s development panel turned it down because of worries over its visual impact.

In allowing the development, the planning inspector said he had not identified any significant cumulative harm that would be caused.

Ray Fawkes wanted to put up a 150ft turbine at Firs Farm, Crookdake, near Mealsgate.

Officers recommended approval but again the development panel turned down permission in 2012.

They said the turbine would have a cumulative impact on the landscape.

The planning inspector said the turbine would be far enough away from other turbines for its effect on the landscape to be indistinct.

Meanwhile, David Reed’s appeal against the council’s decision to turn down permission for a turbine at Charity Lane, High Harrington, was dismissed.

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