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Heading into battle again

Published on 08/10/2005 Times and Star (West Cumberland)
By Pamela McGowan

VILLAGERS in West Cumbria who have fought off windfarm plans four times now face a new battle. Energy firm Wind Prospect has resubmitted a scheme to put six, 50 metre-high turbines on the outskirts of Pica – first proposed in the 1990s.

The news has stunned campaigners, who have been fighting the proposals for more than 10 years. The company was turned down twice by Copeland council, then again at appeal, on the grounds of the visual impact such a development would have.

A final attempt to have the decision overruled at the High Court also failed and villagers thought they may finally have won the war. Their hopes were dashed when the fresh application was made.

Julia Lynn’s house would be nearest to the turbines if they get the go-ahead.

She said: “This scheme has been turned down four times over the years. When it first went in there weren’t any turbines in this area, now I think we have enough. “I can see the ones at Lowca and Workington out of the front of my house, I do not want them behind as well.”

She is hoping the parish council will organise a public meeting to discuss the plans.

She added that she thought the energy firms were awaiting the result of the Whinash inquiry before making new applications. If successful, it will result in Cumbria’s largest windfarm being built near Shap.

“If that goes ahead it will open the floodgates around here,” she said.

Willis Metherell, Pica resident and deputy mayor of Copeland, has been a vocal opponent in the past. She told the News & Star: “I’m against them. They are all right off-shore but I don’t think they generate the capacity that’s required. “These six would be a monstrosity and it would not stop there.

“If they get six they will want to up it to eight, and so on. They will be lined up and down the valley.”

If approved, the turbines would be 50 metres-high with blades spanning 30 metres. Copeland planning officer Tony Pomfret said applicants can resubmit schemes as many times as they like, provided there have been some modifications.