Close call for Furness Wind Farm refusal

In a close vote of 5-6, South Lakeland District Councillors rejected repowering of the UK’s flagship community owned wind farm.

Today South Lakeland District Councillors refused planning consent for the Furness Wind Farm proposal near Ulverston, diminishing the chances for the repowering of the UK’s flagship community owned wind farm, Harlock Hill.

Baywind Energy, the community co-operative who own the existing wind farm, their partners wind energy company Infinergy and the many people who have pledged their support for the wind farm are bitterly disappointed that the planning committee has rejected the proposal. Baywind Chairman David Eastlick said: “South Lakeland District Councillors missed a huge opportunity today to ensure the future and continuing success of the first community wind farm in Britain. With this refusal they have said no to successful local investment and the safeguard of local jobs.”
As the proposal sits on the authority border of South Lakeland District and Barrow Borough, the views of the latter’s planning committee will also be sought.

Mr Eastlick added: “Harlock Hill has been bringing many good things to the area for 17 years and we strongly feel that the new project, at the same site which has proven its value for wind energy, would be even more beneficial. Apart from affordable investment opportunities through Baywind membership, we have committed to a Community Benefit Fund to fund local projects. Major local employer GlaxoSmithKline has expressed an interest in sourcing green electricity from the wind farm for its Ulverston site, which would offset the factory’s carbon footprint by 25% as well as improve its operating costs. There would have been educational opportunities for local schools and Furness College. And last but not least, the business rates would have been retained by the Council to help their annual budget in this time of austerity. We hope that Barrow Borough Councillors acknowledge the project’s benefits and that they will come to a different decision.”

Barrow Borough Council’s Planning Committee is due to determine the application on 23rd April 2013.

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