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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 December, 2003, 12:03 GMT
Fears over impact of wind farm on bog
wind farm
The wind farm will be the largest seen in Cumbria
Developers behind plans for a massive wind farm in Cumbria are being urged to take a further look at its impact on the environment.

The proposal is for 27 wind turbines, each 400ft high at Whinash, near the Lake District National Park.

The 55m plan would involve turbines being spread over a four-mile site, between Tebay and Shap overlooking the M6, and would generate 57 megawatts of electricity.

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust says an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has not mentioned areas of so-called blanket bog.

David Harperley, from the trust, is concerned about the possible impact of laying down the turbine feet or laying roads over the surface.

He said the work could damage the bog because it could drain it and change the water system it survives on.

He said: "It deserves more of a look for two reasons. One is that these kind of developments have got to be based on good information. You can't take these kind of decisions on the basis of inadequate information.

Landscape impact

"Secondly, until a decent EIA is done we don't know whether it is really going to do significant damage or whether say realigning the roads and repositioning some of the turbines could actually mean that the damage could be avoided."

The organisations behind the plans, the Renewable Development Company and West Coast Energy, said they had consulted a number of environmental groups in the run-up to submitting the plans.

It said it would be contacting the Trust again to discuss their concerns.

Because of the size of the project the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) will be responsible for planning consent, instead of Eden Valley Council, in whose area the wind farm will be sited.

Once the DTI has examined the application, there will be a four-month window for objections to be lodged.

It will only need on objection to trigger a public inquiry.

Protesters have raised concerns about the impact on the landscape.

Fears over wind farm plan
30 Sep 03  |  Cumbria
Wind farm jobs hope for Cumbria
28 Aug 02  |  England
Protest over wind farm plan
19 Aug 02  |  Northern Ireland

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