Wind Farms Are Destroying The Lake District

  • Date: 04/02/13
  • Rowena Mason, The Daily Telegraph

Britain’s most beautiful landscapes are at risk of being “disfigured and scarred” by up to 400 new wind turbines in the county of the Lake District, the head of Cumbria council has warned.

Britain's most beautiful landscapes are at risk of being

A wind farm near the village of Bothel in Cumbria, Lake District Photo: Alamy

Eddie Martin, the local Conservative leader, said the region is at risk of being ruined by politicians “determined to steal Cumbria’s soul in the name of green energy”.

In a letter to John Hayes, a Tory energy minster, he called on the Government to drop its “fixation” with turbines as the “jewel in the crown of Britain’s landscapes” has reached saturation point.

He also described the Coalition’s commitment to localism as a “cruel joke”, as local communities feel powerless to stop wind farms being built in their areas.

Anti-wind campaigners claim Cumbria hosts as many wind turbines as all the other counties of England combined.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Martin said there is a “very very strong feeling in Cumbria that we are taking more than our fair share” of wind farms.

Mr Martin said local people feel helpless as they are “gradually encircled with pillars of steel” on countryside right next to the protected Lake District national parks.

“You can’t have pick and mix localism,” he said. “Either we give communities the power to make a decision or we do not but we can’t play at it. If localism is to mean anything, it must mean more than they appear to do so at the moment.”

He said district councils in his area are struggling because it costs them up to £50,000 when they lose planning appeals against unwanted turbines.

“There’s something wrong in the state of Cumbria and elsewhere, I think,” he said. “It’s a massive growing movement – the imposition of wind farms on a unwilling community that feels disenfranchised because it cannot effectively reject them.

“I know there are many other communities in England that feel the same way we do.”

Mr Martin said he had not had a reply from Mr Hayes, who has previously promised to stop the spread of wind farms across the countryside – before being slapped down by more senior ministers.

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