Application to extend the operational life of the wind farm through to 2027
An application was made in 2017 to extend the operational wind farm until 2027.
The application is purely to retain the existing windfarm – the current layout and size of turbines would remain unchanged and the wind farm would look the same. There would be no new turbines, although one turbine may need to be removed at some point in the future as it is located on land affected by the expansion of the neighbouring Kirkby Slate Quarry.
The application was recommended for approval by the Planning Officer and there were no objections to the application from the Lake District National Park Authority and Natural England. However, the application was rejected by South Lakeland’s planning committee in December 2017 by six votes to five.
Having reviewed the planning committee’s decision notice, Ventient Energy has decided to appeal against the decision made, and have submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
HOW TO SUPPORT THE PLANNING APPEAL
Once the appeal is registered with the Planning Inspectorate and an appeal number is awarded to the case, there will be an opportunity for members of the public to lend their support. Further details will be provided once they are available.
A newsletter about the proposals was circulated to local residents in July 2017 followed by a public exhibition held on 19 July 2017. If you require further information, contact email@example.com.
COMMUNITY BENEFITS PACKAGE
Since 2008, the existing Kirkby Moor Wind Farm Community Fund has already invested more than £35,000 into worthwhile projects including the multi-use games area in Kirkby-in-Furness, new footpaths and cycleways, improvements to Grizebeck Village Hall and towards the rebuild of Kirby-in-Furness Community Centre.
Each year the existing Kirkby Moor Wind Farm fund is worth £3,555. If permission for the life extension is granted, then the annual community benefit fund payments would significantly increase to up to £24,000 per annum for the extended lifetime of the project. A volunteer panel of local people would be formed to make decisions on the funding applications with support from the Cumbria Community Foundation.
Under the new scheme, it is proposed to retain the priority for local projects. Any applications within the priority area of benefit, shaded in red on the map, will be considered first, and any applications from the secondary area of benefit will be considered for any remaining funds.
The fund currently supports local community activities and projects based within six kilometres of the site which includes the communities of Well End, Kirkby-in-Furness, Grizebeck, Foxfield, Broughton-in-Furness, Spark Bridge and Broughton Beck. Cumbria Community Foundation, an independent grant making charity, administers the fund, and this means that decisions about how the funding is spent are made by the people that know and understand the local area.
To find out more about the fund and to get a copy of the criteria and the application form, visit the Cumbria Community Foundation website where you can also apply online. Examples of recent grants include:
- The Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team – Upgrade of radio equipment to the latest digital standard
- Kirkby in Furness Methodist Church – Replacement of roof and interior roof insulation
- Grizebeck Village Hall Committee – Improvement to the acoustics of the hall
- Lakeland Rowing Club – Learn to Row
- Kirkby-in-Furness Community Centre – Community centre rebuild
LOCATION AND HABITAT
Kirkby Moor Wind Farm is sited approximately 4km from Ulverston, Cumbria and is one of the oldest operational wind farms in the UK having begun operation in 1993. It is located on an upland heather moor that is designated as both a Site of Special Scientific Interest and common land including parts of both Kirkby Moor Common and Lowick Common.
When the wind farm was designed, care was taken to avoid areas of particular ecological value, and construction techniques were designed to preserve the ecology of the site. Efforts were made to restore the site roads using harvested vegetation, and the whole site underwent a successful five-year post construction monitoring and restoration programme. The wind farm covers an area of approximately 150 hectares of moorland but the turbines themselves take up less than 1% of that land.
The proposal to extend the operating life of the site also includes a full decommissioning and restoration package, that if approved, is intended to bring about further improvements to the condition of the moorland.
Regional Asset Manager
- Installed capacity: 4.8MW
- Number of turbines: 12
- Turbine type: Vestas V34 (DWT WD34)
- Hub height: 25m
- Blade length: 16.8m
- Expected P50 energy yield: 11.4GWh
- Annual house-hold power equivalent: 2,770 homes*