Community Windpower Ltd has withdrawn its appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to erect 20 wind-turbines on hilltop common land in Lancashire.
The withdrawal coincides with the publication of proposals from Natural England that much of the Lune Valley is likely to become a National Park, thus confirming it as among our finest treasures.
The 126-metre tall wind turbines would have scarred Claughton Moor and Whit Moor, parts of which are common land, more than six km inside the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the face of numerous objections, Lancaster City Council’s planning committee unanimously refused planning permission. The appeal was to have been considered at a public inquiry in May this year.
Says our general secretary, Kate Ashbrook: ‘We are pleased that Community Windpower has seen sense and withdrawn this heinous application. However, in parallel with the appeal, Community Windpower has submitted a further, very similar, application for 13 turbines of the same size on the same site to which we and many others have objected.
‘The public has the right to walk over the whole area, and people’s enjoyment of this lovely hillside will be destroyed by the creation of a wind factory here. Furthermore, as part of the area is registered common land, the developers will need the Environment Secretary’s consent for works on common land, under section 38 of the Commons Act 2006, or approval for a land swap.
‘We urge Lancaster City Council to reject this second damaging application, and let’s hope that Community Windpower will see sense for a second time and withdraw it also,’ Kate concludes.
Dr Mike Hall, chairman of Friends of Eden Lakeland & Lunesdale Scenery (FELLS) fully endorses these comments, but points out that ‘this is just one important battle in a war against continued pressure for renewable energy schemes within the Lune Valley, driven by misguided government policy’.