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SLDC Denies Zephyr Investments Windfarm Extension Request

Proposals to extend the life of the Kirkby Moor wind farm have been rejected by SLDC, despite planners being recommended to approve the application.

Zephyr Investments had wanted to keep the turbines operating until the end of March, 2027.

The decision has been welcomed by the charity Friends of the Lake District, which believes that the turbines have "served their purpose" and are now at the end of their working life.

The charity says the turbines have had "a significant detrimental impact on the landscape".

Laura Fiske, Planning Officer at Friends of the Lake District, said: "This decision is a victory for the local communities who live in the shadow of this development imposed on them by the Government in the early 1990s.

"This decision reflects the tireless effort they have put in to make their voices heard. In terms of both landscape and wildlife, the site at Kirkby Moor which is also a SSSI (a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a protected area for conservation) has never been acceptable for this type of development, and the removal of these turbines will have a net benefit to the local landscape and beyond.

"Our objections to this application were on the basis of continuing harmful impacts on the landscape and on views into and out of the Lake District; the fact that the applicant has previously stated that the turbines were at the end of their working lives, and that granting permission for a time extension would set a precedent allowing other windfarms to extend beyond their 25 year lifespans."

Friends of the Lake District spoke at the Planning Committee alongside local residents, Parish Councillors and County Councillors, who also opposed an extension to planning permission.

135 letters of objection had been received, including from Cumbria Tourism and Friends of the Lake District, while 32 letters in favour were also sent in.

Those with no objection included The Lake District National Park, English Nature, Historic England and the Duddon & Furness Mountain Rescue team - which has benefited from grant funding for vital equipment from the company.

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