We fight plan to replace wind turbines on Cumbrian commons

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We have objected to plans by RWE Innogy to replace the wind turbines on common land at Kirkby Moor, Cumbria, with much bigger ones.

When the planning consent for the 12 turbines expires in 2018, Pegasus plans to replace them with six turbines which are more than twice the height.  Whereas the current turbines are 42.2 metres blade-tip height, the new ones would be 115 metres.  The moor, eight miles north of Barrow-in-Furness, abuts the southern boundary of the Lake District National Park.

The proposed development is on common land and the applicants claim that they will exchange the existing common for land on the edge.  This will require ministerial consent under section 16 of the Commons Act 2006.

Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘We fought the current turbines back in the early 1990s and we shall fight this application all the way.  Because there are already turbines on this moor it is easy to see the effect of replacing them, and it is devastating.

Wind turbines on Kirkby Moor common. Photo: Friends of the Lake District

Wind turbines on Kirkby Moor common. Photo: RWE Innogy

‘They are a severe intrusion in this wild landscape, highly visible from many directions and in particular from the tops of the Lake District National Park.  They destroy the view into the park too.  The new turbines would be over twice the height and therefore much more visible.

‘The development takes common land and we do not consider the offer of exchange land on the edge to be fair.  The turbines will ravage the heart of the common.  We shall oppose any application to the minister for consent.

‘The public has the right to walk over every square inch of this common and to enjoy its peace, tranquillity and extensive views, and its history, archaeology, culture and wildlife.

‘The moor is criss-crossed with public paths too.  People’s enjoyment of these is ruined when they are forced to walk through a banausic, urban landscape.

‘We have urged South Lakeland District Council to reject this damaging development so that this exquisite moorland can once again be free of wind turbines when the current planning permission expires.  This would be fitting for common land on the boundary of a national park which seeks World Heritage Status.’

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