Application for three 115m wind turbines at Carwath Farm, Rosley

Rosley is in a beautiful part of Cumbria only 5km from the northern boundary of the Lake District National Park.  At up to 115 m tall, these massive industrial-scale structures would dominate Rosley and the surrounding area and have a serious impact on the landscape from the northern fells of the Lake District National Park to the Solway Estuary.

Further information can be found on the Carwath Farm, Rosley page.  Click on the application reference number on that page to see details of the application on the Allerdale website.  To help stop this totally inappropriate and intrusive development, please send your objections to the Allerdale Planning Manager by email, or post, or via the Allerdale website  The email address is: planning@allerdale.gov.uk and the postal address is: Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 3YJ, quoting Reference No: 2/2013/0227.

FORCE fighting High Pow again – please help, Thursday 30th May

FORCE – Friends of Rural Cumbria Environment was formed in 2003 by a group of neighbours who came together to oppose a wind energy development at High Pow Farm. We decided in the very early days that we wanted to also help others who found themselves in the same predicament, and over the years we have tried to bring about changes which protect residents and the landscape from harmful development of this kind. Ten years on the situation is still dire, and parts of Cumbria are swamped with turbines, but still we go on. The majority of the founder members are still active within the group.
Now we are presented with the prospect of a major extension to the very scheme where it all started for FORCE, and we ask you to please show your support for us by attending the public exhibition for the development proposal.
IT IS THIS THURSDAY, 30th May at Bolton Low Houses Village Hall.
The hall is just off the A595 so easily accessed – please come along and support FORCE in our home parish.
It will be truly appreciated.
Many thanks
Can I also take the opportunity to remind you all of the Allerdale Council Development Panel Meeting which will take place on Tues 28th May at 1pm, The Oval, Salterbeck. We could use some audience support here too as there are two schemes being considered. (Fox House scheme has been deferred and will be presented for a decision at a later date)

Copeland Council “disgusting” as they ignore residents over wind turbine

“5 parish councils, 1 village forum and 122 objectors ignored by Copeland Council Cumbria

I was utterly disgusted by the whole process of the panel meeting at Copeland Council last week to determine the Drigg Moorside farm wind turbine.  5 parish councils, 1 village forum and 122 letters of opposition ignored. They approved a 45.5m wind turbine that will be highly visible from Wasdale and Eskdale in the lake district national park..

The case officer said that the consultation from the Lake District National Park was a key consultation and would influence her recommendation.  Views of residents were obviously not important then! This application was continuously, compared to the previous one at the same location (80m) during the panel meeting, saying the impact was significantly reduced.  Yet when asked about this setting a precedent for more to follow in the area, she stated that each application is assessed on an individual basis. A complete contradiction!

It was clear from the case officers comments that the national park hadn’t said no so therefore the views of 5 parish councils, plus 122 objections, was irrelevant to the proceedings. Her repeated reference to the fact was very leading, for the councillors to agree with her recommendation for approval, when challenged she didn’t like it!

There is also a judicial review on the previous application for an 80m turbine. Does this mean that both could go ahead! Surely the judicial review should have been concluded before any other application was determined because of the cumulative impact!

One councillor commented on the fact that there was a very strong level of opposition and that the community has spoken and should be respected and they were the people that would have to live with the councils decision and that it was clear the local community and wider area did not want this. We thank him for his support and the fact he came and said sorry to us outside!

Another councillor said, once they entered the panel meeting only policy applies.  So we have to ask why are councillors there?  Even if they do refuse against a case officers recommendation at Copeland that isn’t the end of it.. no the case officer will bring it back to the panel a second time!! Have our say? We might but it will be ignored!

Democracy at its best in Copeland! We the people were ignored.  However it has now had the approval put on hold by the national planning casework unit while they review the case…”

Submitted by the Traveller.

Inquiry starts into scale of Allerdale windfarm plans

Credit:  By Jenny Barwise | News & Star | www.newsandstar.co.uk ~~

An inquiry will be held in Maryport this afternoon to discuss findings of a report looking at the numbers of windfarms – and their locations – across Cumbria.

The council revealed that half of the number of wind related developments had been submitted in Allerdale last year.

The council investigation discovered that 74 wind development applications were submitted to six of the county’s local authorities last year.

Of these, 49 per cent were lodged with Allerdale.

Campaign group, Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment (FORCE), added that Allerdale was also host to 62 per cent of the onshore wind turbines in the county, leaving the other five districts with just 38 per cent between them – according to Cumbria Renewable Energy Capacity and Deployment Strategy.

Marion Fitzgerald, FORCE spokeswoman, said that this new information from Allerdale came as “no surprise” since Allerdale also received the lion’s share of new wind energy related application in the past year. She added: “We welcome this investigation.

“It may be that we have a plentiful wind resource in this area, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere before we sacrifice everything else that makes Allerdale a great place to live on the altar of onshore wind.”

Ms Fitzgerald said that she hoped the inquiry, which was launched after Councillor Bill Finlay questioned the high proportion of wind developments in the district, discovers the reason why Allerdale is besieged by wind energy developers.

She added that she hoped steps would be taken to bring the situation under control.

The study, by the council’s scrutiny sub-committee, revealed that 74 wind development applications were submitted to six of Cumbria’s nine local authorities in 2012.

It contains information from Allerdale, Copeland, Carlisle and Eden councils, Cumbria County Council and the Lake District National Park Authority.

Since 2007 there have been 218 wind developments across the area with 94 of them – 43 per cent – in Allerdale, which has 51 operational wind turbines, according to figures from Renewable UK.

The inquiry is expected to conclude in September with a report to full council.

Allerdale’s report was due to be discussed at a Wind Turbine Inquiry meeting in Maryport today.

Cumbrian MP backs campaign against plan for huge wind turbine

filed:  May 15, 2013 • England

Item on National Wind Watch:-

Credit:  By Julian Whittle | 15 May 2013 | www.in-cumbria.com ~~

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart is backing a campaign against wind turbines that would be double the height of Carlisle Civic Centre.

West Coast Energy wants to build three 377ft turbines at Carwath Farm near Rosley.

Local residents have set up Act – Against Carwath Turbines – to fight the proposals.

Mr Stewart addressed 200 protesters at the site last weekend.

The Conservative MP told them that he was “strongly opposed” to any more turbines in his constituency.

He said: “The centre of our economy is tourism and the centre of our area is the Lake District National Park.

“The 3m visitors who come every year, and support tens of thousands of jobs, come because this is one of last unspoilt landscapes in Britain.

“The impact of 350ft-high, industrial, white-spinning metal on the sound, the look and the soul of the intimate scale of the northern fells of the Lake District is immense, and immensely negative.

“It would be a poor short-term decision for our economy.”

Mr Stewart has created a website – www.cumbriawindwatch.co.uk – as a focal point for anti-windfarm groups across Cumbria.

Rosley parish council is also opposed to the Carwath scheme.

The deadline for submissions to Allerdale Council, which decides on the planning application, is on Friday.

Anyone wanting to comment can go to Allerdale Council’s website – www.allerdale.gov.uk – select ‘search for planning applications’ then type in the reference number 2/2013/0227.

West Coast Energy says the turbines would generate enough electricity to power 3,960 homes.

Over its 25-year life, the windfarm would reduce CO2 emissions by 212,850 tonnes by providing green electricity that would otherwise have been produced by fossil fuels such as coal or gas.

It has promised to donate 10 per cent of the profits from the windfarm to benefit the local community and says it has “engaged” with nearby residents by holding public consultations in September.

Steve Salt, planning and public affairs director for the firm, said: “We feel that we have identified an appropriate location for a small-scale three-turbine windfarm.

“A detailed and comprehensive environmental-impact assessment was submitted as part of our planning application and this will be considered by the local authority’s planning department.”

He added: “We are committed to sharing the financial benefits of our projects.

“Only last week we announced details of a landmark fuel-poverty fund and residents living in the vicinity of Flimby windfarm will be the first in England to benefit from this arrangement.”

An Opportunity for FORCE!

From FORCE newsletters and earlier postings, you may be aware that Allerdale Borough Council has agreed to undertake an investigation into the reasons why Allerdale is host to 62% of the County’s wind turbines with the other districts sharing just 38% between them.

The first stage of this investigation has been completed and will be discussed by Allerdale’s Scrutiny Panel this Friday 17th May. FORCE has been invited to give a presentation to the Panel and to explain our concerns relating to the prolific and unnecessary development we are seeing.

Please come along to the meeting if you are free and support our speaker.

Friday 17th May The Wave, Irish Street, Maryport 10.00am to 12.30pm

Public Consultation on Second Draft of Allerdale’s Local Plan Begins!

Following April’s Potato Pot fiasco, we now have the opportunity to help ensure better protection in future as an integral part of local planning policy.

The consultation period on the second draft of the Local Development Framework has begun and will continue until the 18th June. The full document can be viewed via the following link:

http://www.allerdale.gov.uk/default.aspx?Page=2853

When it opens, simply click on ‘view Allerdale Local Plan (Part 1) Pre Submission Draft.’ If you do not wish to read the whole document, you can scroll directly to S19, Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Technology.

The Council’s policymakers claim to have taken into consideration all the points raised during the first public consultation which took place last year and, indeed, there is much improvement in the wording of S19. The most significant change from the first draft is that the Council is now proposing an 800m setback distance from residential properties for all wind turbines with a height of 25m or more. This is at least a step in the right direction and represents a considerable advance from the level of protection we have at the moment. It would ‘knock out’ many of the applications which have recently come forward. It is, of course, a matter of personal opinion as to whether 800m is a sufficient separation distance. Many believe that there needs to be a sliding scale to ensure that the largest wind turbines are subject to a greater setback.

This is the public’s final opportunity to comment on the Local Plan before it goes to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment urge all members to respond at least to Section S19. The official response from FORCE will be circulated within the next couple of weeks before it is submitted to the Council.

Comments can be emailed to

localplan@allerdale.gov.uk

or sent by post to

Local Development Framework Planning Policy Team

Allerdale Borough Council

Allerdale House

Workington

Cumbria

CA14 3YJ

A reminder of a Country Life poll… how we hate those wind farms.

The 10 Most Hated Eyesores

Voted by Country Life Readers

When Country Life asked readers to nominate the worst eyesores in Britain,

nominations flooded in.

By Mary Miers

Thursday, November 13 2003

Do you find yourself mentally bulldozing buildings – sometimes whole towns – and then dreaming of how you would replace them? Do you curse ugliness in architecture and insensitive development and wonder how architects, planners and developers get away with it? If the answer is yes, you may have contributed to Country Life’s list of Britain’s top 10 eyesores.

We decided to find out which buildings our readers find most offensive. We asked them to send in their nominations, and surveyed a representative sample of readers, contributors and architectural and conservation experts across the country. Their response proved to be very subjective, with the majority voting for examples that affect them locally, rather than nominating well-publicised national eyesores. 

But certain buildings came up again and again, as did, interestingly, a range of generic rather than site-specific examples; indeed, four of these reached the top 10 and one – wind farms-was voted the number one eyesore in our survey.

Some chose buildings they considered to be badly designed and thus insensitive to their surroundings, while others opted for examples such as power stations, which by their very nature intrude upon the landscape, regardless of their quality as examples of industrial architecture. 

The results are published here, and range from surprising landmarks such as Knightsbridge Barracks, a dramatically modern and un- compromising building by Basil Spence, to Birmingham New Street Station, an airless and confusing warren housing one of the country’s most important rail interchanges.

READERS’ 10 MOST HATED EYESORES

1. Wind farms

2. New Street Station, Birmingham

3. Didcot power station

4. Battersea power station

5. Electricity pylons

6. 1960s Basingstoke

7. Motorways (eg, M25)

8. Knightsbridge barracks 

9. St James’s Shopping Centre, Edinburgh

10. Service stations on the M1

Public Inquiry into Three 100m Wind Turbines at Potato Pot, near Branthwaite

This Inquiry began on Tuesday morning last week and was scheduled to end on Friday with a site visit. In fact, the proceedings went much more quickly than expected and the Inquiry was wrapped up by Thursday lunchtime. The reason for the early finish is that the case being advanced by Allerdale Borough Council lacked substance and therefore closed sooner than might have been expected.
The Council was defending its decision to refuse the proposal to erect three 100m wind turbines on land at Potato Pot, near Branthwaite but, by Wednesday lunchtime, Inspector Braithwaite had already remarked that he had ‘never seen a more poorly presented case’ in 17 years’ experience.
Problems arose with the evidence of an expert witness for the Council, Mr King of Wardell Armstrong, which did not seem to fully represent the Council’s views.
Mr King had added a property to the Council’s list of homes which would be unacceptably affected by the development. Speaking for the appellant, Airvolution Energy, Mr David Hardy pointed out that there had never yet been a refusal on the basis of impact on a property situated 1.2km from a wind turbine site.
Mr Hardy established very early on in the proceedings that a separate proposal to erect four 99m wind turbines at Lillyhall, just 800m from the Potato Pot site, is completely irrelevant to this appeal. Although the Lillyhall application is far advanced in the planning system, Inspector Braithwaite fully agreed with Mr Hardy that it would only be relevant if it had already been consented. In that case, the two wind energy schemes might have been considered to cause a combined adverse cumulative impact on the landscape.
All of the computer generated images supplied to the Inquiry by Wardell Armstrong on behalf of Allerdale Borough Council were assessed to be inaccurate because incorrect grid references had been entered into the computer software.
The evidence given by the expert witness, Mr King, and the Council’s Planning Officer, Mr Long, seemed to be at variance. Mr Long had indicated that he could not ascertain that Mr King’s evidence fully reflected the Council’s views without returning to members of the Development Panel.
The inclusion of the Lillyhall scheme as a prime reason for refusing the Potato Pot turbines was, according to Mr Hardy, ‘a costly mistake suggested by Mr King.’
It is difficult to disagree with Mr Hardy’s description in his summing up of ‘a Council in disarray.’
Having attended the Inquiry on behalf of Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment (FORCE), I am deeply disappointed at this turn of events. Our involvement in this particular planning application has been limited although FORCE did submit an early objection.
It seems that our Planning Department has let down the people of Allerdale on many levels in relation to the Potato Pot turbines.
In the very first instance, the planning fee was undercharged by some £24,000. We are in possession of an email from the planning department which confirms this.
Secondly, there really was no need to place so much emphasis on the un-built and currently un-consented Lillyhall turbines. There ARE plenty of operational turbines in the area which should have been brought to the Inspector’s attention. The nearest are the wind farms at Winscales and Fairfield but, as anyone who lives in the area knows well, many more are visible from individual viewpoints and sequentially from local roads.
Thirdly, there can be no acceptable excuse for the inaccurate computer generated images which were presented to the Inquiry by Allerdale Planners.
Fourthly, the fact that the main representatives for the Council appeared not to have been fully briefed or to understand each other’s position indicates a lack of preparation and professionalism.
And finally, it appears that there was insufficient administrative support provided to Mr Long himself since, on more than one occasion, he had to leave the Inquiry in order to do his own photocopying even when other planning officers were present!
So far as local planning policy is concerned, Mr Hardy was quick to point out that the current Local Plan for Allerdale is ‘silent’ on the subject of renewable energy and therefore of no account. It is to be hoped that the new plan which is scheduled to go out to consultation soon will rectify this situation and afford us some protection from the onward march of the turbines. The Cumbria Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document which, interestingly, Mr Hardy takes to be wholly supportive of developers, is also of limited use only as it contains some statements with which Planning Inspectors clearly do not agree.
Following the Council’s lamentable performance at this Public Inquiry, the appellant is seeking costs in the event of a successful outcome. The grounds for this are ‘unreasonable behaviour’ on the part of the Council such as the late introduction of evidence causing additional work etc. In the event that the appellant’s case is successful and costs are awarded, these losses to the Council will have to be added to the undercharged planning fees with which the Potato Pot proposal began!
As stated earlier, the people of Allerdale have been poorly served by the Planning Department in this case For residents near Potato Pot, we must still hope that Inspector Braithwaite reaches the conclusion that the appeal should be dismissed. But if he does so, it will have been without the help of Allerdale Borough Council’s Planning Officers!