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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Green campaigners back wind farms
wind farm
The turbines would generate enough power for 47,000 homes
Plans for a 27-turbine wind farm in Cumbria have won the support of green campaigning group Friends of the Earth.

Tony Juniper, executive director of the organisation, will tell a public inquiry that a ridge overlooking Tebay would be an ideal site for the farm.

Those against the energy scheme at Whinash say it would be a desecration of a beautiful landscape.

The public inquiry into the 55m scheme, which would be one of England's biggest wind farms, began in April.

Mr Juniper said: "It is a beautiful landscape, but is not pristine by any means and has been degraded by grazing sheep.

"The area also overlooks the M6 which has traffic thundering along it and there are also intrusive energy pylons striding along the landscape.

Nobody is saying that wind farms are the only answer to the threat of global warming, but they are a step towards a cleaner environment
Tony Juniper, Friends of the Earth

"Friends of the Earth believe that the beauty of the site does not outweigh the need for green energy. Many supporters also believe that wind farms are graceful symbols and add to the landscape."

The turbines, each nearly 400ft high (122m), would stretch 4.35 miles (7km), generating power for 46,000 homes.

Two firms are behind the scheme, the Renewable Development Company and Chalmerston Wind Power.

In January the Countryside Agency, which was established by the government in 1999 to advise policy makers, announced it would object to the wind farm proposals during the public inquiry.

Naturalist David Bellamy has already vowed to chain himself to the turbines if building goes ahead.

Mr Juniper added: "The electricity generated from the scheme would be enough to power more than 47,000 homes.

"Nobody is saying that wind farms are the only answer to the threat of global warming, but they are a step towards a cleaner environment."

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