A DECISION to call-in a planning application to build three wind turbines at Killington Reservoir has been welcomed by conservationists.
The Open Spaces Society was one of a number of groups including FELLS (Friends of Eden, Lakeland and Lunedale Scenery), the Friends of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales Society who wrote to the Secretary of State urging him to call the matter in because of its far-reaching, national implications.
They argued that the site is adjacent to the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks and the three 123-metre high turbines would destroy the view of the Howgills from the M6 motorway.
Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced that he was ‘calling in’ the decision earlier this week.
Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society: “This is wonderful news and is a fitting decision for this outstanding, nationally-valued landscape. The turbines would ruin the breath-taking views in an area which is extremely popular for quiet recreation."
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And Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart, who has been waging a campaign against wind farms being build in his constituency, said: "These structures would be seen for miles in every direction. The visual impact would be immense - and immensely damaging. Tourism is the largest sector of our economy here in Cumbria, and tourists are not drawn here by the weather but by our spectacular, unspoilt landscape.”
South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee approved the controversial application in January despite 1,000 individual objections being made against the plan.
“I remain concerned that too often our local planning authorities are still failing to see the inherent value within this vast area of natural beauty - something which local communities recognise instantly,” said Mr Stewart, who also welcomed a recent decision to reject a turbine application at Orton.
“Time and again Cumbrians have come together in demonstrations to highlight how strongly they oppose this blight on their landscape. We did so in Orton last month, and I was delighted to see planning authorities reject the turbine. I remain convinced that with well-organised and vocal opposition, we can successfully beat any inappropriate wind turbine application.
" A public inquiry into the plans, by the Banks Group, will be held later this year to examine whether the council's decision was made on a sound basis.
Mr Stewart set up and runs the Cumbria Wind Watch website, which serves as a tool for individuals and communities seeking to fighting wind turbine applications in their community.
For further information visit: www.cumbriawindwatch.co.uk.