FORCE still fighting to protect the landscape in Allerdale but needs your help

Although this is specific to Allerdale, please read on – they may be the first area in Cumbria to be hit by so many single applications but they won’t be the last; the information about influencing the local plan is relevant to every planning authority.
As many of you will be aware, the National Planning Policy Framework was fully adopted on 27th March and at the same time many individual planning policies were abolished.  Whilst there is much to be criticised in the NPPF, one thing it certainly does is place a great deal of emphasis on the local community.  We know that Allerdale Borough Council has been preparing a new Local Plan for some considerable time but the Council has delayed publishing the plan until the final form of the NPPF was determined in order to ensure compliance with national policy.
As of 1st June, Allerdale’s draft local plan is available for consultation.  The consultation period will last until 31st July and all Allerdale residents have the opportunity to comment.
We realise that not all of our members live in Allerdale but are sending this newsletter to every member for whom we have an email address.  It is of course very likely that the other Local Authorities will also be issuing new local plans since the adoption of the NPPF and so a preview of Allerdale’s efforts is likely to be of benefit to every member.
Needless to say, the entire plan is a long and extremely complex document although parts of it do make very interesting reading.  However, from the point of view of FORCE, the most relevant section in the plan is EC8 ‘Stand alone Renewable Energy’ which can be easily found by scrolling forward in the chapter on Economy.
You may wish to view the whole of the local plan in which case the following link can be followed.  I should warn that it may take a while to download.
Whether you decide to read the whole of the draft local plan or not, we do urge you to look at EC8 and to comment on it as appropriate.  The format followed by the document is that the preferred option for future development is set out but planners have included alternative options for your consideration.  Your comments are then invited and the opportunity is also there for you to suggest yet more options and ideas for the future.
One of the first things about the draft plan to strike us here at FORCE is the lack of prominence given in the document overall to the problem of wind turbine proliferation in Allerdale.  Given that the borough has now received in the region of forty wind energy related applications since the beginning of 2012, you may well feel that this is a comment worth making.  Then there is the question of whether the plan in its current form offers us sufficient protection against excessive numbers of wind turbines in the future.  On the whole, we are disappointed by what seems to us the rather weak stance that the Council has adopted in relation to the enormous influx of development that we are experiencing.
Please do take the time to read and comment upon at least this section of the draft plan because it is our only opportunity to influence local planning regulations in relation to wind energy development.  FORCE now has more than 400 members most of whom are resident in Allerdale.  If we all comment on the plan, we can make a real difference!  But this must be done by 31st July when the consultation period ends.  Afterwards will be too late.  As well as individual responses, Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment will of course be commenting upon EC8 as a body.
There are online forms which can be used for responding to the document but they are not particularly user friendly and require a large amount of personal detail which you may not feel that it is necessary to provide.  Should you decide to use the online form for your comment, it can be accessed at
However, by far the easiest way to respond is simply to email your comments to
making sure to include your name and address as evidence that you are resident in the borough.
Comments can also be sent by post to
Planning Policy Team
Planning Services
Allerdale Borough Council Allerdale House Workington Cumbria CA14 3YJ
Please encourage friends and neighbours to write in with their comments.  The draft plan will be on display to the public at Allerdale House, Workington, and also at local libraries throughout the consultation period. In addition to this, a series of information sessions will be held at different venues in the borough where members of the planning team will be available to explain the proposals.  These will all take place between the hours of 10am and 4pm at the following locations:
June 20th                Campbell Sevours Way                Workingon
June 22nd               Silloth Discovery Centre               Silloth
June 26th                The Co-op                                    Wigton
June 28th                Sainsburys                                   Cockermouth
July 3rd                   Local Link Centre                        Aspatria
July 5th                   Dunmail Park                               Workington
July 10th                The Co-op                                    Maryport
July 12th                Campbell Sevours Way              Workington
Apart from the fact that the noise complaint relating to the three turbines at High Pow remains unresolved at present, there is nothing further to report on the proposed extension to the wind farm or on Your Energy’s proposal to erect eight turbines on neighbouring land.  We will of course let you know as soon as we hear of any changes to this situation.
I hope you all enjoy the Jubilee celebrations over the extended weekend.  Please do not forget to find time to read EC8.
Best wishes
Marion Fitzgerald


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