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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Kirksanton residents hit out at turbine plans

DEVELOPERS have been issued with a firm message from a community which fears being surrounded by wind turbines.

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KIRKSANTON SITE: Protesters believe the skyline in Kirksanton will be spoiled if the six wind turbines are built

Around 20 residents in Kirksanton have spoken out against the proposed six-turbine windfarm on land at Langthwaite, which overlooks the village.

The windfarm, proposed by REG Windpower, would see six 100 metre turbines built to generate enough power to supply around 6,500 homes.

One woman who moved to the village from London just months ago said she feared a development could drive her from her new home.

Maggie Cumming, opening a meeting in Kirksanton Village Hall said: “As a group we’re not anti-renewables. We’re not anti-windfarm.

“I feel this would be imposing awfully on important landscape that’s part of our cultural heritage.”

Mandy Gerrans moved to Kirksanton at the end of last year.

She said: “I moved before Christmas and, as a Londoner coming up here I think it’s beautiful. I wouldn’t have moved into a house that will be looking at these things.

“I don’t want to have to move again.”

The development will create a £48,000 community fund.

The plan is due to be submitted to Copeland Borough Council’s planning department ‘this winter’.

The turbines are said to generate between 35 to 45 decibels from a distance of 300 metres.

Dorothy Williams, who owns Black Combe House Bed and Breakfast in Kirksanton, fears the development could harm the economy.

She said: “Millom is a town that can’t be described as rich, but the thing it does have is beautiful surroundings. If this went ahead it would definitely depreciate properties and it wouldn’t be thought of as beautiful.

“It would bring no benefits to Millom.”

Sue Abbott, organised the session, she said: “Enough is enough.

“We have a big windfarm at Haverigg and one up there at Langthwaite would stand out from any position you looked at it.”

Millom mayoress Councillor Christine Lovell was among the concerned residents.

She said: “I’m in support of renewables but the time has come to say enough is enough.

“We’ve got the nuclear power station, we’ve got turbines – but we’re surrounded by the sea.

“We’re very much in favour of a barrage across to Barrow with road and rail links.”

Matt Olley, REG Windpower’s Development Manager for the project, said: “At our recent public exhibitions many local people indicated their support for the proposals. We received positive and encouraging comments including those which suggested uses for the community benefit funding that the project would deliver.

 

“The proposed wind farm will supply the equivalent of 6,500 homes with renewable electricity every year and we are making every effort to ensure the design is as sensitive as possible towards the local environment. We are in process of replying to requests made following the latest exhibitions and want to stay in touch with local people throughout the development process.

 

“I would encourage people with questions to visit the project website at www.langthwaitewindfarm.co.uk, where they be able to find out more about the scheme and let us know their views.”

Have your say

Tony, have you actually taken the time to look at the Langthwaitewindfarm website? These monstrosities will be visible from all over our area. The only people who benefit from these windfarms are the ones who own them and of course, the greedy landowners who get paid handsomly for having them. It is not just about nimbys but all of us.

Posted by Albert Street on 20 February 2012 at 17:16

"We should not sacrifice our landscape on our crowded island. Do we want to replace Britain's wild places with a bland windmill filled land?" Sir Martin Holdgate former Chief Scientist to the Dept. of the Environment.

Not only are wind turbines an eyesore, they are an inefficient means of producing electricity. In gales wind turbines have to be shut for safety reasons. Then the National Grid is forced to increase output from gas and coal fired stations. Firing these stations up and down actually emits more carbon dioxide than leaving them running constantly.

Between Christmas Eve and 4th January 2012, the National Grid gave wind farm operators £1 million pounds in "constraint payments", while the turbines were turned off due to gale force winds. These costs will ultimately be passed on us the bill payers.

Dr Lee Moroney the Planning Director of the Renewable Energy Foundation says. "As we all know, wind is fickle, and balancing electricity supply and demand when there is too much or too little wind power is proving expensive. The costs, which are ultimately borne by consumers, will inevitably increase as more wind farms are built. It is estimated that the total cost of solving the difficulties of integrating wind power will cost £5 billion a year on top of renewable subsidies in 2020 if current EU targets are met."

Often during periods when the wind is strong but less gusty, operators are asked to turn off the turbines because they flood the network. The lack of a storage facility means that turbines have to be turned off at times when there is not so much demand from the grid. Renewables are pretty useless without a proper storage facility. None of these are included in the overall planning infrastructure. In fact there is only one in the UK, based in Wales, where water is pumped up a mountain during good wind production times and then hydro-electric power is generated from water running back down to power water driven turbines.

There may be a case for wind farms, owned by local shareholders in appropriate places. The energy would go directly into the community and reduce bills. However, companies coming in from outside will feed energy into the grid and local people will carry the cost in their bills when the turbines cannot be operated.

I not saying that there is no place at all for wind farms, but I am concerned that because Millom, Haverigg and Kirksanton are outside the National Park we will end up being swamped by them and our beautiful landscape will be ruined. There is a strong case for appropriate locally owned wind farms. It makes sense to have a wind farm at HMP Haverigg as this will reduce the cost of the prison's upkeep to the taxpayer. However enough is enough. Our coastline is already blighted by the turbines out at sea. This development at Langthwaite spoils scenery around Black Combe and will be visible from too many angles in the Millom area.

I accept that non-fossil fuel sources of energy must be developed in order to prevent lights going out, but lets have a properly planned mixed energy economy, with storage facilities rather than a reliance on unreliable wind turbines. To make wind farms economically viable and to meet EU Carbon emission targets, requires 1,000s of the ugly things, without storage facilities or direct local consumption. The Millom area has reached saturation point. Time to put a foot down.

Posted by Jane Micklethwaite on 20 February 2012 at 16:21

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