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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Cumbrian council proposes wind turbines and homes 'buffer' zone

New limits could be brought in to set a minimum distance which must be created between windfarms and houses in Allerdale.

The proposals for an 800 metre zone between turbines over 25 metres high and the nearest houses have been outlined in a new plan for future development in Allerdale.

The next local plan – which sets out key areas of development over the next 15 years – suggests bringing in the minimum separation distance following “overwhelming opposition” to windfarms.

England has no separation distance, although noise limits suggest turbines should be at least 350 metres away. Scotland has guidance suggesting 2km and Wales suggests 500m between a wind turbine and housing.

The proposed new local plan went out to consultation last summer and attracted 1,500 responses from members of the public and organisations. The top two issues Allerdale received most responses on were whether Brigham should be a ‘local service centre’, and the number of windfarms in the district.

Kevin Kerrigan, Allerdale council’s head of development services, said they received “an overwhelming response to wind turbines”.

“There was a high level of support for minimum set back distance,” he said.

“Shorter distances may be appropriate if there is support from the local community.”

It was revealed last month that an investigation has been launched into why Allerdale has 62 per cent of Cumbria’s wind turbines total.

It was called for by Bill Finlay, Aspatria councillor.

He said: “The figures are quite stark.”

The council investigation will look at data on turbine applications, refusals and appeals, as will the other five planning authorities in Cumbria.

Allerdale council is to debate the new local plan next month. It says key objectives are supporting more affordable homes, improving transport links and developing education and sport.

The plan, which must be approved by the Government, replaces the 1999 one and sets out priorities until 2028.

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