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Appeal for slurry pit plans to be reconsidered

A farming couple is asking Carlisle City Council to reconsider an application for a two million gallon slurry lagoon near Longtown in Cumbria.

The plans were rejected in April after the council received a record number of more than 1,400 objections.

The couple is now appealing against the decision claiming that residents had been misinformed.

Read: Carlisle City Council rejects slurry plans

Longtown residents form action group

Residents in Longtown who claim to have been driven into fuel poverty by inflated bills after the fitting of solar panels have formed an action group.

Two years ago Riverside Housing Association, who own the properties, installed a new heating system linked to the solar panels to reduce fuel bills for the residents. Instead, many saw a rise in the cost of their bills.

It's been two years since the green system was installed by Riverside Credit: ITV Border

Around 60 tenants claim that their landlord, the Riverside Housing Association, has failed to act on their complaints after spending two years with the new heating systems.

Last month the residents wrote to Local Government Minister, Eric Pickles, to move forward with their unresolved issue.

Riverside say they are dealing with the matter and have been co-operating with the tenants.

In a statement, Riverside housing Association said it takes the concerns of these residents "extremely seriously" and has looked into the problem to improve the insulation of the properties.

The company said some of the higher costs have been due to people using the system incorrectly and that since they've been working with tenants on a one to one basis, costs have been "significantly reduced."

Before the new systems were installed many residents used coal fires to heat their homes. Riverside said:

"In upgrading our tenants’ heating systems Riverside are supporting a national drive to replace coal fires with cleaner and safer alternatives. We are continuing to work with tenants to help them get the full benefit of the new systems."_

Read: Solar panels result in fuel poverty for Longtown residents.**

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Residents left out in the cold

The plan to reduce energy bills included using solar panels. Credit: PA

Tenants in Longtown who are angry about freezing homes and soaring energy bills will meet again today as protests build.

Residents say that Riverside Housing Association's plan to reduce their bills using solar panels has failed. Instead, they've seen bills rise, leading some to go without proper heating for years.

MP supports tenants in fuel bill protest

Rory Stewart MP is supporting tenants in Longtown after solar panels and faulty boilers were fitted to their homes.

This week tenants are stepping up their campaign since they have now been without a proper heating system for two years.

The MP, for Penrith and the Border, has been primarily concerned with the cost of tenants fuel bills.

Riverside Housing Association fitted solar panels and new boilers to the homes in spring 2012.

Since then residents noticed an increase in their fuel bills of as much as 400 per cent.

Many tenants have chosen not to use their central heating and live in one room of their house using electric heaters instead.

A meeting organised by Carlisle Tenants and Residents Federation will take place in Longtown Community Centre on Thursday 17 April at 7pm.

'Overwhelming reasons' for slurry pit objection success

Plans for a two million gallon slurry pit near Longtown have been turned down after Carlisle City Council received a record number of objections.

More than 250 people protested at a council meeting in Carlisle this morning.

The application had been recommended for approval by planning officers but after 1400 objections councillors decided to reject the scheme, to the delight of the opponents.

Malcolm Ward opposed the plans.

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Slurry pit a 'gigantic stinking cess pit of faeces'

More 250 Longtown residents are protesting at Carlisle City Council this morning.

They're there to oppose the building of a two million gallon slurry pit close to their homes.

The city council's development control committee meeting are meeting today to discuss approving the plans for the site.

Many of the residents have registered to speak at meeting.

High emotion and vehement opposition on a range of issues including threat to health, dangers to youngsters, increased traffic and bad smell.

One resident has described it as a 'gigantic stinking cess pit of faeces' that they don't want.

City council expected to make a decision on the planning application today.

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