OVER the last 18 months all our local parish councils have listened to the case put by Zephyr Investments for a time extension for the Kirkby Moor turbines.

All 15 local parish councils have unanimously objected. Our district and county councillors have objected, as has our MP.

Cumbria Tourism, Cumbria Wildlife, the Federation of Small Businesses, the Friends of the Lake District, the Wainwright Society and many other local organisations and individuals have also objected.

South Lakeland District Council will defend its decision to refuse permission at the eight-day Inquiry beginning on January 22. For the purposes of the inquiry our local parish councils have joined together to form a community group known as Kirkby Moor Protectors in order to give evidence at the inquiry and, like SLDC, will be asking the inspector to dismiss the appeal by Zephyr Investments.

We all recognise the importance of renewable energy and Cumbria, both on and offshore, is playing its part. Applications for wind-farms must now have the backing of the local community and this does not appear to be the case for this application.

Kirkby Moor Protectors believe that this application to extend the life of ageing, subsidised turbines would appear to be much more in the interest of the wind-farm owners than in the interest of the nation, our national park setting and our local communities.

There have been many reasons given for objection but all objections have referred to the negative effect on the landscape.

Other considerations have referred to the effect on tourism; the inefficiency of the 25-year-old turbines; the effect on close residents; the effect on heritage assets; the 1992 imposition of turbines contrary to the local planning process and subsequent inquiry; the effect on the Site of Special Scientific Interest; the increase in off-shore, more efficient, unsubsidised wind-farms; the possibility of further attempts to 'repower' Kirkby Moor with much bigger turbines; the effect on birds and bats; flooding increased by tracks and concrete installations; the 25-year 'experiment in the national interest' considered to be no longer necessary; the length of time for sought permission (eight years, seven months and five days) coinciding exactly with the end of onshore subsidies; and sentiments that subsidies paid to merchant bank-owned energy producers are unethical.

John Hudson


For and on behalf of Kirkby Moor Protectors