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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK
Wind farm sparks tourism concerns
wind farm
The turbines would generate enough power for 46,000 homes
Tourism chiefs were giving their views on the impact if plans for a 27-turbine wind farm are approved for Cumbria.

The public inquiry into plans for one of England's largest wind farms at Whinash started last month.

On Wednesday, Cumbria Tourist Board chairman Eric Robson was due to raise his concerns that the development would put visitors off visiting the area.

But project manager Steve Molloy said he believed the site could become a visitor attraction itself.

Blackpool Tower

Mr Molloy said: "There will be some parts of the wider community who may even look upon this as being somewhat of an icon, a real visual impression of where we as a society should be going in the future in more than just its pure visual impact."

But Mr Robson said landscape and visual peace were high on visitors' list of reasons for visiting Cumbria.

He said: "These 27 flickering turbines, each of them the height of Blackpool Tower, in an area which the government's own landscape agency says is worthy of national park status, already between two national parks, cannot be good."

He said they were not against renewable energy but against this site and development.

He feared if even a small percentage of people were put off coming to Cumbria as a result it could lose the tourism industry hundreds of millions of pounds.

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