March Update from FORCE

Firstly, thank you to all of our members who turned out in support of the Carwath objectors at the February Development Panel.
The result was everything we could wish for – a unanimous decision by the councillors to refuse the application for three 115m wind turbines which would have dwarfed the area around Rosley.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the highly successful campaign. During the two years that it took for the application to reach the Development Panel, 588 objections had been submitted together with 28 comments from neighbouring parish councils opposing this highly inappropriate scheme. The five objectors and a district councillor who addressed the Development Panel covered each aspect of the application thoroughly and were very effective in their presentation of the case.

Clearly, a great deal of preparation and hard work had gone into this campaign. There is much to be learned from the Carwath objectors which may well be of use to other FORCE members in the future.

In stark contrast to the success story of Carwath, controversy continues to rage over the three planning consents that were granted by Allerdale’s Development Panel against the planning officer’s recommendation last November. It is one of the great inequalities of the UK planning system that every applicant is entitled to appeal against a decision to refuse planning consent and that this service is accessible completely free of charge.

Whereas the only mechanism that objectors can use to have a planning permission overturned is to file for a Judicial Review. This is an enormously expensive process and, if the objectors are unsuccessful at the end of it, they risk being presented with a bill that can run into tens of thousands of pounds for solicitors’ fees and costs awarded to the other side.

Residents of Oughterside have nevertheless been looking into the possibility of taking Allerdale Borough Council to Judicial Review over its decision in November to grant planning permission for a 35m wind turbine at Oughterside Mill and will certainly be asking the Local Government Ombudsman to examine the process that led to this particular decision.

New on the books is an application for three 110m wind turbines to be located on land at White Lees Farm, Aiglegill Farm and West Farm near Hayton. The collective name for the project is ‘Lancarr Wind Farm.’ The turbines would be adjacent to the existing wind farm at Warwick Hall Farm, Westnewton. Interestingly, the operators of the existing turbines have objected to the proposal on the grounds that the three additional machines will interfere with the output from their own turbines.

Residents of Westnewton are already greatly affected by the presence of the three 107m wind turbines at Warwick Hall Farm. Noise complaints remain unresolved at the present time.

In addition to this, the new application fails to take any account of the planning permission recently granted for a photovoltaic ‘park’ at Pasture House Farm which will take up over 32 hectares of land in close proximity to the existing and proposed wind turbines. Occupying eight fields, the photovoltaic development will also have a significant impact on the landscape and environment within the local area.

Whilst we fully concur with the statement in paragraph 97 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that all communities must contribute to the supply of green energy, there must surely come a point when this responsibility must reasonably be considered to have been discharged!

Local objectors would greatly appreciate the support of FORCE members against this highly excessive and damaging proposal. Please take just a few minutes to visit the following page on the Council’s website:

All you will then need to do is to scroll down to just below the blue panels where it says ‘Comment on Application.’ There are a few boxes to fill in with your name and address etc. Don’t forget to highlight the option that confirms your objection to the application. Then simply submit a sentence or two in the box below giving the reasons why you consider the proposed development to be unacceptable.

There are numerous clear grounds why ‘Lancarr Wind Farm’ should be refused permission including:

•impact on the local landscape

•cumulative impact alongside the neighbouring Warwick Hall Wind farm and other wind energy developments in the surrounding countryside

•impact on residential amenity, particularly in view of the fact that local residents are already affected by the existing turbines

•ecological impact on wildlife, displacement of geese and swans etc.

•the development is contrary to national and local planning policy – in particular Local Plan policies S19, S32 and S33

Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions or require additional information. One of our members has also asked us to promote a facebook page on which wind energy applications are publicised as they arrive. If you are on facebook, the page can be found via the following link:

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