South Lakeland District Council Council Online Planning - Decision Notice Summary

Planning Application Number: SL/2014/1220
Site Address: Land at Kirkby Moor Wind Farm KIRKBY in FURNESS
Description: Decommissioning of 12 existing wind turbines and ancillary infrastructure; erection of a wind farm comprising 6 turbines (Maximum blade tip height of up to 115m), a meteorological mast, new and upgraded access tracks, a substation and other ancillary development
Decision Date: 26 November 2015
Decision Type: Refuse
Temporary Expiry Date:
Decision Level/Committee: PLANNING COMMITTEE
Conditions / Reason for Refusal: (1) The proposed turbines would appear as a series of large prominent vertical structures which would be dominant and incongruous in a landscape that lies adjacent to and is contiguous with the protected landscape of the Lake District National Park. As a consequence, the turbines will have a significant harmful effect on the character and appearance of the landscape and the setting of the National Park including harm to the visual amenity. The proposal would also result in unacceptable cumulative impacts with existing and consented turbines in the vicinity of the site. The harm to the landscape would not be outweighed by the acknowledged environmental benefits. The development is of such a size, scale and form that it would not be possible to adequately mitigate the harm caused by means of design, siting or landscaping. It is therefore contrary to the aims and objectives of Policies CS7.7 and CS8.2 of the adopted South Lakeland Core Strategy, saved Policy C26 of the South Lakeland Local Plan, Sections 10 and 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the Cumbria Joint Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Document and Written Ministerial Statement dated 18th June 2015.

(2) The turbines would be in close proximity to a number of designated heritage assets. The proposed development would introduce large vertical features inserted prominently onto the skyline, which would have a visually damaging effect on the setting of Kirkby Hall a Grade I listed building; Sir John Barrow Monument, and St Cuthberts Church Beckside, Grade II* listed buildings; and St Johnís Church Netherhouses and St Lukeís Church Lowick, Grade II listed buildings. It would cause harm to the significance of the designated heritage asset due to the great visual distraction caused in views from the assets, and also in views towards the assets. The public benefits of the proposal do not outweigh the harm that would occur to the cultural heritage asset and its setting. It is therefore contrary to the aims and objectives of Policies CS7.7, CS8.2 and CS8.6 of the adopted South Lakeland Core Strategy, and saved Policies C15, and C26 of the South Lakeland Local Plan and Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

(3) The proposed turbines will cause unacceptable interference to the Air Traffic Control radar at Warton to the detriment of MOD operations.

(4) Insufficient evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the proposed development would not have an adverse impact upon the identified archaeological interests associated with the site, contrary to Policy CS8.6 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy.

(5) Insufficient evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the mitigation measures and long term management proposals as identified in the Draft Habitat Management Plan and which involve the agreement of third parties, can be fully implemented. The proposal therefore may result in unmitigated damage to the SSSI, contrary to Policy CS8.4 of the South Lakeland Core Strategy and Section 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

The Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by identifying matters of concern with the proposal and discussing those with the applicant. However, the issues are so fundamental to the proposal that it has not been possible to negotiate a satisfactory way forward and due to the harm which has been clearly identified within the reasons for the refusal, approval has not been possible.