Lane Head

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Lane Head
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Applicant/Operator Stern Wind Ltd
County Council Cumbria County Council
Planning Authority Allerdale Borough Council
Planning Authority Reference 2/2011/0864
Number of Turbines 1
Power per Turbine 0.5MW
Turbine Height 80 then 61m
Position 54° 45' 40" N, 3° 11' 51" WLatitude: 54.761235908385
Longitude: -3.1973648071289
OS Grid Reference 323079, 541342
Wind Farm Status Proposal defeated
Parliamentary Constituency Tony Cunningham MP
Campaigner Boltons FORCE

 

26th April 2014 It was a very close shave. Inspector Watson had recommended approval for the Lane Head turbine but, fortunately, the appeal decision was overturned by the Secretary of State. Details of exactly what happened can be found by following this link:

http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2191503&coid=2166912

We are disappointed that, having seemed very thorough in his approach to the site visit, Inspector Watson wrote what appears to be a rather incomplete report.

However, the Secretary of State has certainly made the right decision and our heartfelt congratulations go to everyone who worked hard to make this happen. This is a shining example of what can be achieved when the community pulls together!

10th November 2013 The Inspector carried out a site visit at Lane Head in September and was extremely thorough, visiting every location suggested by interested parties. There was an excellent turnout by members of the public which is a clear indication of the strength of local opposition to this proposed development. Since the site visit, those who attended have received a letter which indicates that a decision can be expected on or before 14th March 2014. Fingers crossed.

5th March 2013 Allerdale Borough Council's decision to refuse the latest application for a 61m wind turbine at Lane Head, Boltongate, has been taken to appeal by Jim Harley and Co.  It really is time to see this one off for good!  Please submit your comments to the Planning Inspector at the following postal address:

Sheila Parkin

The Planning Inspectorate

3/06 Wing

Temple Quay House

2 The Square

Temple Quay

Bristol

BS1 6PN


It does not need to be a lengthy comment but, if communicating by post, you will need to provide three copies of it.


Alternatively, please follow this link to the Planning Inspectorate's website:

http://www.pcs.planningportal.gov.uk/pcsportal/ViewCase.asp?caseid=2191503&coid=2166912

Comments may either be submitted via the planning portal or emailed to the Case Officer. All comments must be received by 1st April.

A lot of people have worked extremely hard to defeat these highly inappropriate applications which would negatively affect the village of Boltongate to a great degree.  Please spend a few minutes to show your support for the objectors.

10th February 2013 Please go to Little Waver and High Pow 2 pages to read about further plans for wind energy development in this area!

13th November 2012 This second application for a wind turbine at Lane Head, Boltongate, has been refused by an overwhelming majority of councillors at Allerdale's Development Panel.  Once again, refusal was in line with the planning officer's recommendation.  The grounds are unacceptable impact on landscape, unacceptable harm to the amenity of nearby properties and negative impact on the setting of All Saints Church.  English Heritage maintained its objection to this proposal.  Congratulations once again to the residents of Boltongate!

5th November 2012 The application will go before Allerdale's Development Panel on Tuesday 13th November.  The meeting begins at 1pm and will take place at The Wave Centre, Irish Street, Maryport.  We are very pleased to note that this wholly inappropriate application has been recommended for refusal once again by the planning officers.  There is no room for complacency, however.  If you can spare any time on the 13th, please come along and support objectors.  It does not matter if you cannot stay for the whole meeting.  It is very important to show the Council that we care very deeply about the adverse effects of this type of development.  There is still time to submit an online objection to Allerdale Borough Council if you have not already done so.  Please follow the link below.

19th September 2012 No news as yet as to when this application might be expected to go before the Development Panel so please send in an objection if you haven't done so already.  There certainly is news about the further antics of Jim Harley of Stern Wind or Planning Consultations, whichever name he is using at the moment!  Please have a look at the FORCE blog on the 'latest news' page to find out more!

10th August 2012 Stern Wind, now preferring to be called Planning Consultations, has returned to Lane Head Farm, Boltongate, with a new application. The first application was roundly defeated at the March Development Panel and so the new one has come as something of a surprise to us. An appeal would have been less unexpected but this is a different turbine in a different location. At 61m, however, it is still unacceptably large, would dominate the village of Boltongate and, in positioning the turbine further away from the church, the applicant’s agent has brought it closer to other houses in the area.
Please join us in objecting to this totally inappropriate application. It can be accessed via the following link:

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=97237

Simply click where it says ‘Comment on Application.’ Just a sentence or two is all that is needed and your help would be greatly appreciated. Allerdale's website is often 'down' overnight or at the weekends so please do try again if you cannot see the application right away.

13th March 2012 We are very pleased to announce that this application was refused by an overwhelming majority of councillors at this afternoon's meeting of Allerdale's Development Panel.  FORCE would like to thank everyone who helped fight the wildly inappropriate application.

2nd March 2012 It has now been announced by Allerdale's Democratic Services that this application will go before the Development Panel on

                           Tuesday 13th March at 1pm, The Wave, Irish Street, Maryport

If you are able to, please come and support objectors.  As well as this application, Boltons Parish is also facing a proposal for eight turbines on land at The Close as well as a possible doubling in size of the existing High Pow Wind Farm.  Although it is conducted in a very formal way, the Development Panel is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the strength of local feeling to both planners and councillors.  You can take a more detailed look at the Boltongate proposal by following this link:

http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=91377

If you have not already done so, it is still not too late to submit an objection as Allerdale will continue to accept comments until a day or two before the Development Panel. 

25th February 2012  Allerdale has now commissioned an independent landscape architect to carry out a further assessment.  By next week we should know one way or the other whether the application will be going before the March Development Panel.  If so, this will take place on Tuesday March 13th.  Further details to follow.  In the meantime, we have discovered the following:

THAT a photograph used in Stern Wind's recent Cultural Heritage Assessment (and mentioned in their Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment) was obtained by trespass.

THAT Bruce Walker, who took the photograph in question and carried out the LVIA, once successfullly applied for five albeit small turbines at Westwood Nurseries, Orton Grange, where he was the managing director.  He then publicly declared that if the turbines were a success he would be keen to act as an agent selling similar ones, of Chinese manufacture, to other clients.  How very fortunate for Jim Harley of Stern Wind that he found a landscape architect so blatantly in favour of wind energy to carry out the landscape assessment for the Lane Head proposal.  This most certainly calls into question the impartiality of the Westwood report!

THAT the Enercon turbine proposed at Lane Head has a capacity of 800kW but would be run throttled back to 500kW as it would not benefit the applicant otherwise.  The reason that it would not benefit the applicant is that the feed in tariff drops if the output is above 500kW.  This proves that the proposal is about making money!  I would not have thought even the green lobby would find it acceptable that an operational turbine should be throttled back and prevented from making the full contribution of which it is capable!  Interestingly, Enercon no longer make a 500kW model.  It's a strange choice of turbine.  Square peg and round hole spring to mind!

Further details of all the above can be seen amongst the latest correspondence on Allerdale's website.

12th February 2012  We have been informed that the application for a single turbine at Lane Head Farm, Boltongate, will not now go before the February Development Panel.  Planners at Allerdale have decided to commission an independent Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment and will not be completing their report until this has been carried out.  The earliest that the application could go before the Development Panel is now 13th March but this is by no means certain. One advantage of the delay is that it allows us more time to object.  Irrespective of what it says on the Allerdale website, comments on this application will continue to be accepted until shortly before the relevant Development Panel takes place.

30th January 2012  For some reason, Allerdale have decided to call it an amendment to the application - which it most certainly is not - but Stern Wind have now submitted their Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment together with a Cultural Heritage Assessment.  These new documents can be viewed with all the other submissions on the Allerdale website (link below).  They are still trying to pass this development off as microgeneration!  It is not too late to object.  The official response from FORCE will be ready within the next couple of days.

11th January 2012  Despite what it says on the Allerdale website about the consultation period having expired, you can still object to this proposal.  FORCE understands that it will go before the Development Panel on 14th February.  If so, this is likely to be at 1.00pm at The Wave, Maryport.  Comments will continue to be accepted by Allerdale up until this date. FORCE will update this page if there are any changes to the Development Panel arrangements or other news relating to the application.  The meeting of Boltons Parish Council was packed out with residents from Boltongate last night.  It was an excellent opportunity to discuss our views and consolidate grounds for objection.


29th November 2011 This application is for a single 80m turbine. It would be in very close proximity to the proposed site of Little Waver Wind Farm and would stand on the ridge above the Little Waver group. The developer is a company called Stern Wind Ltd.

We know the following about Stern Wind Ltd:


The company was first registered as a business in this country on 14th February this year

During the period of March and April, Stern Wind Ltd submitted multiple requests to Allerdale for screening opinions on various sites for single turbines.  These sites include land at Boltongate, Ireby, Bothel and Wiggonby. There may be more. Stern Wind has been active in Copeland as well.


Stern Wind seems to have numerous business addresses and a very basic website with virtually no information:
http://www.sternwind.co.uk/


The photo montage included in the application is comprised of GoogleEarth pictures. The Google copyright mark is visible on all of the photographs. There are no acknowledgements to Google, or permissions, included in the document.


Every picture selected by Stern Wind has a view of trees blocking what would be a view of the turbine. Simply by walking past the trees, one could obtain an uninterrupted view.

According to the application ‘The existing wind farm at High Pow is not visible in any views of the proposed turbine from the west, south or east.’ It is however clearly visible from the north!  Also, Wharrels Hill Wind Farm, known to many of us as Bothel, is on the next hill looking west and is not mentioned at all in the application.


Whilst it may be a single turbine, this is not a small one. The Renewable Energy Capacity and Deployment Study recently commissioned by Cumbria County Council defines a small scale wind development as having a capacity of less than 100KW and normally comprising a single turbine with height less than 15m. It will usually supply on site demand before feeding excess electricity to the National Grid. The source of this definition is given as the Department of Energy and Climate Change itself.


At a height of 80m and with no mention of the electricity produced being used to supply the site, the turbine proposed at Lane Head Farm can in no way be regarded as a small scale development. The turbine would be visible from many miles away. It is also likely to be the case that, if this proposal goes ahead, it will make Your Energy’s plans for eight more turbines very close by more difficult to challenge.


The full application can be viewed at:


http://planning.allerdale.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=91377


One of FORCE’s most serious concerns is that, with many single turbines of different sizes gaining approval in Allerdale and other parts of West Cumbria at the moment, we will soon reach a situation where the landscape classification will change. It will become virtually impossible to argue against proposals for larger scale wind farms when all the developer will have to do is point to all the turbines around us, single and otherwise, and say that this is most definitely wind farm country and therefore suitable for further development.