Granting of appeal would benefit local economy, society and environment
Thousands of pounds of investment in the local community and many public benefits will be secured if the Planning Inspectorate agrees, on appeal, to extend the duration of the planning permission for the existing Kirkby Moor wind farm near Ulverston.
Ventient Energy, the energy firm that owns the wind farm, is appealing against the decision made by South Lakeland District Council’s planning committee last December to turn down the application for a variation of condition which would allow the wind farm to operate until 2027. The wind farm has operated since 1993.
It was a close vote with the planning committee split almost down the middle, six members voted to refuse the application for the wind farm’s continued operation and five voting against refusal.
The Committee’s decision went against the planning officer’s recommendation for approval and there were no objections to the application from the Lake District National Park Authority and Natural England.
Ventient Energy is seeking planning permission to continue to operate the existing wind farm – there are no proposals for new turbines or the installation of infrastructure. The company said a ruling in favour of the appeal would deliver many benefits to the local community.
Public benefits include:
- An increase in the existing community fund from its current level of £3,555 a year to annual funding of up to £24,000. A volunteer panel of local people would be formed to make decisions on funding applications with support from the Cumbria Community Foundation
- Moorland restoration during the life extension period and an enhanced decommissioning, reinstatement and restoration scheme once operations come to an end and the turbines are removed.
- Helping the UK reach its ambitious renewable energy targets and its aim to build a circular economy.
The wind farm community fund has already supported a number of local projects and organisations including the Grizebeck Village Hall and Kirkby-in-Furness Community Centre.
Since Kirkby Moor wind farm started operating 25 years ago it has generated enough energy to power thousands of houses.
Scott Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer at Ventient Energy said: “We were disappointed with South Lakeland District Council’s decision to go against the planning officer’s recommendation by narrowly voting to turn down our application to support the continued running of the existing Kirkby Moor wind farm for a few more years.
“We have decided to appeal the decision based on the many economic, social and environmental benefits the wind farm delivers to the local community and beyond.
“Kirkby Moor wind farm generates clean, green energy and supports the local community through the annual community fund, providing in-kind and financial support to the Mountain Rescue who use our equipment on site as well as support to the local economy.
“We strongly believe in the public benefits of the wind farm, as others do, and we hope the Planning Inspectorate allows the appeal and grants planning permission for the continued operation of the Kirkby Moor wind farm.”
Issued on behalf of Ventient Energy by Beeline PR. For further information please contact Debbie Byers on 0131 466 2282 / 07990 570 220 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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