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Lothersdale turbine fears over-ruled by Craven District Council
A micro wind turbine can be built on open countryside in Lothersdale despite concerns of residents and councillors.
Craven District Council’s planning committee heard that there were bound to be more applications for similar- sized turbines in the area.
Some councillors shared the concerns of Lothersdale Parish Council, ward councillor Mark Wheeler and some residents, but they were reminded of the government’s support of renewable energy, even in small projects.
Resident Elizabeth Goodison said she and her husband were keen walkers on the Pennine Way, close to the proposed turbine at Sunnyside Farm in Whitehill Lane, and felt strongly that the increasing number of turbines was changing the landscape into an industrial area. She added there would be no economic benefit for the 20kw, 23-foot high turbine, other than for the owner of the property, which was no longer a working farm.
Mrs Goodison said she believed there were at least 12 turbines dotted around Lothersdale and Cowling and asked at what stage the council called a halt to any more.
Planning officer Roger France reminded councillors that each application for a turbine had to be treated on its own merits and that the government placed considerable weight on renewable projects, however small.
He added that he was “absolutely certain” that the applicant would win an appeal if the council decided to refuse permission.
Coun Alan Sutcliffe (Cons) said he had assumed the turbine was for a working farm, and added that in the past the committee had been sympathetic to farm turbines as they helped towards the cost.
But he said this scheme would only benefit the applicant’s bank account.
“This is going to increasingly happen and at some point we are going to have to decide when we are going to have to draw a line in the sand.”
Mr France pointed out it did not matter how and where the energy was being used, the fact was it was 20kw less than would have to be generated through coal.
Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) said it was all about visual amenity and whether people liked the look of turbines or not.
“I actually think they look okay and not detrimental, I feel they do more good than harm,” he said.
The committee voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation to approve planning permission.