FORCE Newsletter April 2014

So far, it really had been a year of mixed fortune. As ever, the bad news first but there really is some good news to follow – so please read on!

Anyone using the A595 near Thursby cannot have failed to see the blinding monstrosity that is the How End Farm turbine!

The appeals at Firs Farm, High Scales and Goose Green which were all decided by the same Inspector, Mr McCoy, were approved. This is a very disappointing result not least because Inspector McCoy failed completely in his reports to take account of the fact that he was approving three turbines all within approximately 1 kilometre of each other thus creating his own cumulative impact!

One factor that may well have played a part in his decisions is that Goose Green and Firs Farm were both recommended approval by Allerdale’s Planning Department but rejected by the Development Panel members. This demonstrates yet again how important it is to provide Allerdale Planners with robust objections so that they can formulate sensible grounds for recommending that applications should be refused in the first place. In the light of last year’s ministerial guidance, this not only includes spelling out the grounds on which we believe an application should be refused, but also showing that significant numbers of the local population object to the proposal.

The same is true of an appeal decision in January at Brayton Park which was also allowed by Inspector McCoy who will henceforward always be known in these parts as ‘the man who created his own cumulative impact.’

Current situation

Until last week it has been a quiet year on the application front, with only one full application being posted on Allerdale’s website. That was until Friday 25th when FOUR MORE full applications went online.

FORCE will be lodging objections to these and we would urge you to do the same. Please feel free to utilise any points from our objections when they are posted on line. The applications can be found at the following links:

Waverbank, Mealsgate – 1 x 45 metre turbine

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=114731

Carrick Dean, Edderside – 1 x 35 metre turbine

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=114896

Arkleby House Farm, Arkleby – 1 x 45 metre turbine

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=114891

Water Flosh, Aikton – 1 x 77 metre turbine

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=114952

Dundraw Farm, Dundraw – 1 x 67 meter turbine

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=114953

All of these applications far exceed the DECC definition of small scale (15 metre to hub) and if any were to be granted would significantly add to the negative landscape impacts and cumulative impacts that we already suffer, not to mention the potential impacts on residential amenity for those who live near to them.

News from Eden is that REG (the company that owns and operates High Pow) is planning a six turbine array at Hay Close Farm, Calthwaite. This is in it’s very early stages and public exhibitions are being held on the following dates:

Friday 16th May 2 – 8pm

Low Hesket Village Hall,

Low Hesket,

CA4 OES

and

Saturday 17th May 10am – 2pm

Skelton Memorial Hall, Skelton,

CA11 9TE

Whilst they seem to pay no heed to the feedback that they receive following this type of exhibition, there can be no harm in letting REG know what you think!

There is however also some good news!

The long awaited appeal decision on the turbine at Lane Head Farm, Boltongate was issued on 16th April and the appeal was dismissed. This was however a close run thing since the Inspector had actually recommended to the Secretary of State that the appeal be allowed, but this recommendation was overturned on the basis that if the proposal were to go ahead it would harm the setting of the Grade 1 listed church in Boltongate.

This is actually the fourth appeal in Allerdale this year to be dismissed, the others being at Clea Mire, Charity Lane and Wiggonby, not to mention one that was dismissed at the Flatt Farm on the Carlisle side of the border!

Just goes to show that it really is worth battling on and getting the objections in.

It is our understanding that the application for three 115 metre turbines in the undeniably tranquil and rural setting of Carwath, near Rosley, will be heard by the Development Panel in May. We will post full details of the arrangements on this website as soon as they are known.

Also expected soon is the Inspector’s final report on Allerdale’s proposed Local Plan.

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