United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Cumbria tourist attraction anticipated with small wind farm

Developer National Wind Power (NWP) has applied to build eight wind turbines in Cumbria, complete with visitors' centre and a viewing platform on one of the turbines. If it goes ahead, the 10 MW wind farm would be the largest in north west England. The site, at Wharrels Hill near Bothel, is near a major route from the north into the Cumbrian Lake District -- a hugely popular tourist area. According to Rob Forrest, who is managing the project for NWP, the decision to incorporate a visitor facility follows responses from local people at a public exhibition in the area. Initial estimates suggest it could attract 10,000 visitors a year and would provide local seasonal employment for between six to eight people. Forrest claims the project has received considerable local support. But it has also run into vociferous opposition -- and some dirty tricks. Police are investigating letters to the wind farm site's landowners purporting to be from a firm of solicitors. The letters threaten legal action over an alleged fall in property values if the wind farm goes ahead. The solicitors strongly deny any involvement with the letters and have initiated an investigation, including testing the DNA on a stamp on one of the letters, says Forrest.

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