THE COUNTRYSIDE Agency is to oppose plans for a wind farm at Whinash in Cumbria, when the public inquiry opens on April 19.

On Thurs Jan 20 the board of the CA agreed to pursue its objections to the proposed wind farm despite an open commitment to renewable energy sources, including wind power.

“The Countryside Agency has a statutory responsibility to designate and conserve areas of outstanding landscape character everywhere,” said Stuart Burgess, Chairman of the CA.

“We also support the concept of developing all sources of renewable energy, including wind technologies, where this does not conflict with other environmental objectives or priorities,” he added.

The CA is concerned by the impact the development will have on the neighbouring Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park further to the east.

The unknown impact the development could have on the character of the wider landscape from which the proposed development is visible is also a concern, said the CA.

The Renewable Energy Foundation, which has sought to improve the debate surrounding renewable energy sources by commissioning research, has welcomed the CA‘s decision.

“We are entirely supportive of the decision taken by the CA,” said Mike Hall, REF director.

“This is a unique area due to the specific location of the two national parks in the region, but it is unlikely to affect future decisions with regard to other planned sites across England,” added Dr Hall.