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South Lakeland District Council has rejected plans for a giant wind-farm on common land at Kirkby Moor, Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District National Park.
The council’s planning committee refused, by nine votes to two, the application from the energy company RWE Innogy UK Ltd. This was to replace twelve wind turbines with six which would be over two and a half times the height of the existing ones (ie 115 metres blade-tip height instead of 42 metres).
We were among the many objectors who included the Friends of the Lake District, Ramblers and various parish councils. The society was concerned not only that the development would be an eyesore and an intrusion in this splendid landscape, but also that it would be on common land, which has special laws to protect it.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our society’s general secretary: ‘We are overjoyed that the committee followed its officer’s advice and resolved to reject this damaging application. It would have been a gigantic intrusion in this exquisite landscape, destroying the very qualities for which it was designated a national park, and interfering with the public’s peaceful enjoyment of a wide area.
‘The moor itself is criss-crossed with paths and is visible for miles around. One can see how these massive turbines would be far more damaging even than the existing ones. We hope that this is now the end of the abuse of Kirkby Moor and that when the current consent expires in 2018 the moor will be open and free once more.’
Kirkby Moor is eight miles north of Barrow-in-Furness and abuts the southern boundary of the Lake District National Park.