Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart and local Eden District Councillor Adrian Todd on Saturday gathered one hundred local protesters at the proposed site of a 70-metre wind turbine at Raisgill Hall – Eden District Council application 13/0917 – which, if built, would be visible for miles around, damaging pristine views of Orton Fell, the Howgills, and the Tebay area that are some of the most beautiful in Eden. Local community activists joined Rory at Saturday’s rally to voice their strong opposition to the application on grounds of landscape and wildlife impact; the hugely detrimental effect on the tourism industry; noise and health issues; property values; and other negative impacts on local residents. The proposed industrial-scale structure would dominate the vast lakeland landscape, which in fact borders the Lake District National Park and is potentially to be incorporated into the National Park’s widened boundaries in the near future.
Speaking at the rally, Rory said: “This is a brilliant turnout for a cold, wet and windy Saturday afternoon, showing the enormous groundswell of public opposition to this application. People don’t visit Cumbria for the weather, or the food; they visit for our landscape. The main pillar of our economy is tourism, and the centre of our area is the Lake District National Park, and this absolutely beautiful area around Raisgill would be ruined by a large industrial structure seen by every single tourist approaching the Lake District as they travel north up the M6. The impact of a 70-metre high, industrial, white structure on the sound, the look, and the soul of the Howgills and Orton Fell would be immense, and immensely negative. It would be an incredibly poor short-term decision for our economy. Today we can clearly see how strongly local communities feel about protecting their local landscape, and not only for their own benefit: but for the benefit of all who visit Cumbria precisely to see and enjoy our beautiful countryside. The protestors we see here today come from all walks of life and ages; this is not something that attracts a narrow part of our society. Such wind farms affect us all, and I am proud to see so many people give up time on their Saturday to show how very concerned they are.”
Councillor Adrian Todd said: “Obviously this is going to be significantly detrimental to the immediate landscape of the upper Lune, and massively detrimental to the area at large and to our tourism industry in Cumbria. We need to look carefully at the economics of these turbines, which are causing serious local anguish. I’d also like to thank our MP Rory Stewart for his unstinting support for us, and indeed for all communities in his constituency fighting these applications.”
Rory Stewart has created the community website www.cumbriawindwatch.co.uk
as a means of bringing community opposition groups together to share learning and resources to aid their campaigns, and the website has been instrumental in increasing communication between groups across the county. At Saturday’s rally local resident Kyle Blue of Orton Parish Council was nominated as the local leader of the community campaign, and anyone interested in joining the opposition against the Raisgill Hall application is encouraged to contact Kyle Blue or Councillor Adrian Todd for further information.