Wind-factory threat to Bowland beauty-spot

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Community Windpower is trying for a third time to build wind turbines on an exposed hillside in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Lancashire. Part of the site, Claughton and Whit Moors between Caton and Hornby, is registered common land.

The company is preparing to submit a third planning application to Lancaster City Council, this time for 12 turbines, and has published a Scoping Report to enable interested parties to comment on the proposals before it prepares the application. It applied for planning permission for 20 turbines in 2010, then for 13 in 2011. Lancaster City Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected both, the company appealed but then abruptly withdrew, shortly before a public inquiry was to begin.

We consider this to be an abuse of common land and open country in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area is treasured by local people and visitors for its peace and quiet, wide landscapes and breath-taking views over the Lune Valley. It is a place for quiet reflection and relaxation. The proposed 126-metre-high turbines turbines would destroy all these qualities.

We shall point out that the Scoping Report makes little reference to public access and enjoyment of the site, or that part is registered common land—which means any development is unlawful without the consent of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, as well as planning consent.

The application will also be opposed by FELLS (Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunedale Scenery).

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