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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Councillors to decide on wind turbines near Carlisle

Two more wind turbines near Carlisle could get the go ahead this week.

Planning officers are recommending that councillors grant permission for a 261ft turbine south east of Flatt Farm, Kirkbampton, and a 148ft turbine at Peastree Farm, Durdar, close to Carlisle Racecourse.

Councillors had been due to consider the Peastree proposal last month.

But members of the development control committee decided they wanted to visit the site first.

They approved an 89ft turbine there last year. Now TGC Renewables has tabled an application for a taller one.

The council received three objections, arguing the turbine is too large for a residential area and that low-frequency noise from the blades would disturb neighbours.

However, planning officers say it would be “relatively small scale” and that its installed capacity of 225kw “would provide a contribution to meeting energy needs both locally and nationally”.

The Kirkbampton turbine is next to Watchtree Nature Reserve, which was used as a burial site for animal carcasses during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.

The council has received eight letters of objection and one in support. The objectors claim the turbine would be an “eyesore” and add to the noise already audible from turbines at Great Orton Airfield.

Planning officers say it would “not have a detrimental impact on the character of the landscape or cause unacceptable harm to the living conditions of neighbouring residents”.

Although both schemes are recommended for approval, it is by no means certain that councillors will follow planning officers’ advice.

They rejected two wind-energy schemes in August against their officers’ recommendations.

One was for a 256ft turbine at High Burnthwaite Farm, also at Durdar, and the other for a 164ft wind-monitoring mast at Penton, north east of Longtown.

There is growing concern about the cumulative impact of multiple schemes for one turbine.

Labour’s William Whalen said at the time: “I’m getting extremely worried. Every field around Carlisle is going to have one of these turbines stuck on it. We seem to be creating forests of turbines. This is one of the most beautiful counties in the country and we have to protect it.”

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