PLANNERS in Barrow have recommended councillors grant proposals to 're-power' a five-turbine windfarm near Ulverston.

The community co-operative which runs Furness Windfarm at Harlock Hill, between Marton and Pennington, wants to replace the ageing turbines with modern machines which have a greater capacity to generate electricity.

Development partners Infinergy and Baywind Energy were turned down by South Lakeland’s planning committee - in a narrow vote of six against five in March - on visual impact grounds.

Unusually, a decision is required by both Barrow Borough Council and South Lakeland District Council as the proposed windfarm straddles the boundary of the two authorities.

Three of the turbines are geographically in South Lakeland, while the other two fall into Barrow’s jurisdiction.

Developers will appeal South Lakeland’s refusal after Barrow councillors have made their decision on Tuesday (May 21).

A Government planning inspector could uphold the appeal, which would mean the scheme could go ahead if Barrow councillors vote in favour.

Baywind chairman David Eastlick said: “Barrow Borough Council’s planners have done the right thing by recommending the green light for this proposal.

“Our existing Harlock Hill windfarm has been bringing many good things to the area for 16 years but is now ready to be upgraded with modern turbines.

“We hope that Barrow borough councillors will agree to extend this successful windfarm’s life and approve the application to make that happen.

“Barrow’s recommendation highlights that the reason why South Lakeland’s planners refused the proposal - the visibility of the development in the landscape - is subjective and a matter of personal opinion. We believe that Barrow’s report strikes the right balance.”

If successful, the new windfarm’s capacity will increase from 2.5 megawatts to to 11.5.

Developers say this would make better use of the ‘excellent wind resource’ available on the site.

GlaxoSmithKline in Ulverston has expressed interest in buying power from three of the turbines. 

The windfarm's annual £35,000 revenue over its 25-year life span would be put in a trust fund to finance local projects, the partnership said.

Barrow-based Baywind Energy was formed in 1996 to promote the generation of renewable energy and energy conservation.

Windfarm developer Infinergy builds onshore windfarms throughout the UK.