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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Windfarm firm accused

DEVELOPERS behind plans for a five-turbine windfarm have been accused of shifting the goalposts by anxious residents.

The proposed development on land owned by HMP Haverigg has been increased in height from 90 metres to 120 metres.

Residents who at first supported the project spoke out against the proposals at a drop-in session organised by Partnerships for Renewables, the company behind the plans. An initial estimate puts the cost of the development at around £11m, though some aspects have not been priced up yet.

Henry Holmes, of nearby Bank Head, Haverigg, said: “It’s not a question of ‘not in our back yard’ – the original plans were acceptable but now they’ve moved the goalposts. I’m in favour of windfarms.

“The problem is we were quite happy with the height they were.

“There are 75 residents in Bank Head but we’ll get nothing.

“There are a lot of issues with the road – we have flooding and you can see bubbles coming up through the road.

“I don’t think it could take the heavy machinery.”

Phil Smith, of Bank Head, said: “They have gone back on what they first said. We weren’t too bothered at first because originally the turbines were smaller. At this size it will put the house prices down.

“The company isn’t interested in the people of Haverigg – just in making money.”

Councillor Sue Brown, who represents Seascale and Whicham on Cumbria County Council, described the development as “a move too far”.

Plans for the project are due to be submitted to Copeland Borough Council’s planning department by the end of the year.

If the application is successful, an annual community fund worth £28,750 would be set up to help groups and projects in the village.

Stuart Barnes, project manager for Partnerships for Renewables, said the turbines could supply enough power for 6,500 homes per year.

He said: “You always get a mixed reception.

“We’ve spoken to people about concerns about the amount of noise and the visual impact.

“We are very confident in the site – we have been investigating since 2009 and we have hundreds of hours of analysis.

“At planning all the information will be submitted to the council.

“In the new year there will be a big exhibition.”

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