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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Cumbrian farmers in row over plans for 260ft wind turbine

A war of words has broken out between two neighbouring farmers over a proposed wind turbine which will soar 260ft above a Cumbrian valley.

Sam Steel, 25, who runs a 200 dairy farm a few miles from Cockermouth, says the proposed turbine in a field 600ft from his family home would destroy the outlook.

But his neighbours, brothers Leigh and Hodgson Stamper, who run Wellington Farm, have taken the first steps in an effort to get approval for the project, which is being handled by the wind power company Stern Wind.

They hope to make money from what they say would be a green source of energy.

But Mr Steel, who lives at Dubbs Farm with his parents Sarah and Roger, has vowed to fight the turbine proposal.

He said: “There was a notice in the newspaper saying that they are doing a screening application for the idea of a wind turbine.

“They want to put it in a field in front of our house, literally 600ft from the front of our home.

“Our house looks out across the Cumbrian fells and if it goes ahead, this turbine will absolutely destroy our outlook. It will have a massive visual impact.

“From here at the moment, you can just see the tips of the turbines at Bothel, and they’re the only things that break the skyline.

“The one they want to put up here would stick out like a sore thumb.”

Mr Steel pointed out that his neighbours also run the Wellington Jersey Ice Cream & The Old Stackyard Tearooms, whose website boasts of “stunning views” over the fells.

Leigh Stamper said the wind turbine plan had nothing to do with the tea room.

He said: “Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I happen to believe in wind turbines for environmental reasons and always have done.

“If I thought this would be detrimental to the environment in general we wouldn’t be doing it.

“I may be in the minority but I don’t believe so,” added Mr Stamper.

“I think more people are in favour of them and small pockets of people disagree with them.”

He added that he had approached the wind farm company with the idea for financial reasons but stressed that he believes in the environmental worth of such green energy sources.

He added: “It’s like mobile phones – we all use these products but we’re not prepared for the consequences of having them.”

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