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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Backers claim Millom wind power would generate £5m profit

A WIND turbine project which received almost 100 letters of objection could generate more than £5m profits for the local economy, the applicant has claimed.

The planning meeting for five 120.5m-high wind turbines at HMP Haverigg saw Partnership for Renewables’ hopes dealt a blow when the panel minded to refuse the application.

Applicant John Mills, of PFR, said he was shocked when nine of the ten committee members at Copeland Borough Council voted against the application after the planning officer had recommended it for approval.

He said: “We were pretty shocked by what happened at the meeting. We thought it would go through because there’s actually quite a lot of support from residents and businesses.

“It will bring a lot of benefits to the area and we have agreed to give £75,000 to a community benefit fund.”

Mr Mills claims the 25-year project would bring in a profit of £5m to £6m to the local economy from the use of local businesses, workers, cafes and ports.

He said: “We generally had quite a positive response during the consultation period, but I think that people who are against plans tend to be more passionate and will be the ones who take the time to actively object.

“We have promised to resurface the road afterwards as we know this is one of the concerns or to give £150,000 towards it.”

The operation is planned for land belonging to the prison off North Lane, on a former airfield adjacent to an existing windfarm.

Mr Mills said: “Our legal advisors have told us we are able to use the private road as access to the site despite what residents have said. We would prefer to be good neighbours and for everyone to be happy.

“We don’t think there will be any damage. The abnormal loads would be escorted by police and have to go very slowly. They would also only be travelling through the village at quiet times.”

Port Millom Ltd has given strong support to the proposed project. Managing director Lea McMeekin said they had been in talks with PFR about using the port for unloading, storage and the transportation of components for more than three years.

She said: “I am very passionate about my town and the lack of job creation in this area. Projects such as this one have the opportunity to put Millom Quay in the renewables spotlight and would have a massive ripple effect, attracting other, probably sea-based, renewable contracts to the town.

“The effect for the local economy would be massive and very much-needed. I have stated to the developers from the outset using local companies and manual labour is a must and any job creation prospects I have the chance to influence through the quay, I will push hard for local people to be brought in to fill the role.”

The planning committee is due to make a final decision on Wednesday, September 10.

Have your say

Local businesses benefiting and local jobs created? Any new business or jobs would be extremely limited, if it happens at all. As far as I understand it, through previous projects, most of these turbines are in the main pre-fabricated, usually abroad. The claims that locals will benefit is nonsense, as it is when it comes to the issue of fracking.

Posted by Peter Sullivan on 20 August 2014 at 18:34

Of course wind turbines make money, otherwise big businesses wouldn't invest in them! What you actually mean is that you as an ordinary person won't see any benefit from it.

Posted by dinos on 18 August 2014 at 08:44

View all 3 comments on this article

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