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Thursday, 5 September, 2002, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Windfarm protest over 'unspoiled' site
Wind farm turbines
The turbines would be out at sea on a sandbank
Protesters say plans to build a 200m windfarm off the coast of Cumbria will blight a beauty spot with an eyesore.

Energy firm TXU Energi wants to erect 60 turbine towers in the Solway Firth, which runs between Scotland and Carlisle.

It will be one of the biggest windfarms in the UK.

Local people say the structures, based about seven miles off the coast of Maryport, will ruin the landscape.

'Estuary neck'

Each turbine would be 427 feet tall, and the complex would be capable of providing electricity to 160,000 homes.

But Brian Irving, of the Solway Rural Initiative, said: "I feel that the turbines would be inappropriate here.

"The Solway Firth is one of the last unspoiled estuaries in the United Kingdom. It is something we just can't lose.

"I don't feel this development is particularly offshore, it is in the neck of the estuary, so it is inshore."

Scottish decision

TXU says construction work would create more than 100 jobs, while an adjoining visitor centre in West Cumbria could attract up to 125,000 tourists each year.

They also say the development, which would be constructed on a sandbank, is a good example of green energy.

Spokesman Nick George said: "We have an exceptional wind source here in the Solway Firth."

The final decision on whether it will go ahead lies with the Scottish Executive.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Adrian Pitches
"We're in windy Maryport - which is exactly why TXU want to build here"

Click here to go to BBC Cumbria
See also:

25 Jun 02 | England
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