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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Residents air their views over onshore wind power

FURNESS could be like a “prison” surrounded by wind turbines if multiple applications get the go-ahead, a packed meeting heard.

There was standing room only at Newton Village Hall on Wednesday night as 132 people came out to oppose onshore wind turbines planned for the area.

There are around 14 land turbine planning applications for Furness.

Furness Wind Turbine Action Group called the gathering as land owners are seeking planning approval for turbines in Newton, Stank, Dalton, Askam and Lindal.

At Harlock Hill, between Barrow and Ulverston, Baywind hopes to almost double the size of five turbines, to measure some 99.5 metres tall.

Councillor Ray Guselli said Aberdeenshire once only had a handful of turbine applications, but now it has hundreds.

He fears turbines will affect tourism in Furness.

Mr Guselli said: “They blight the landscape and the evidence is they are more effective when placed at sea.”

Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee will hear the application of Lindal Cote Farm on Tuesday.

The plan for a 19.25 metre turbine, to provide electricity for five houses, is recommended for approval.

Some residents said they had not received notification about the Lindal plans and had been informed by other people.

People listed fears over noise disturbance, the visual amenity, and also the fate of wildlife such as bats and birds.

Residents said the issue of subsidence in Newton needed to looked into before considering turbines, and that a mining survey should be carried out in the Furness area.

One man said: “Furness will become a prison. Surely Furness has been sacrificed enough for what is debatable green energy.”

Another man who lives in Newton, said: “No-one is going to convince me that you won’t hear them, it’s going to drive us all crazy.”

A woman from Stank said: “We are going to be in the middle of them, one is 165m from our house, and another 400 or 500m.”

David Orrick, of Newton, said: “In Newton one problem is land sinkage, possibly a windfarm would have an adverse effect. As a group we could approach the whole of Barrow council and ask them to hold off until a full and accurate study is made into subsidence.”

Councillor Tina Macur, said: “I really object to this being a background to Furness Abbey, a tourist attraction, and I don’t want them anywhere near your homes.”

One man said: “This is a migration path across the peninsula and the bay and it will kill thousands of birds.”

Residents questioned if they can get the farmers and land owners on board.

David Brierley, who campaigned against the Far Old Park Farm, Ireleth, was asked to sit on the panel alongside Cllr Guselli and Alan Stoker. Mr Brierley, said: “There are no laws with wind turbines, just guidelines written by the industry.

“You have to find something councillors can pick up on, and persuade them with your arguments.”

Mr Stoker, said: “It is very important that your objections are individual objections.”

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