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Tuesday, 16 October 2012 (3031610)
Turbine trouble!
by David Simister

HESKETH Bank residents are speaking out against plans to build what could be West Lancashire's tallest wind turbines on farmland near the village.

A series of representations have been lodged with West Lancashire Borough Council against plans to install the two turbines, which at a total of 55 metres from the base to the tip of the propellor would be as tall as a dozen London double decker buses stacked on top of each other, at land at Cottams Farm, near Shore Road.

Among those who have voiced objections to the plans is Shore Road John Bojczuk, who wrote: “Hesketh Bank is a very flat area. From here you can see the wind turbines at Mawdesley - what effect will these huge, 182 feet turbines have when my home is only 300 metres away. Would you like them next to your home?

”My life and the lives of other people directly in the lines of vision and sound will be made a misery, and I am concerned for the people in the future at different places who will be affected if you allow these huge wind turbines to be located so close to where people live.“

Meanwhile, fellow Shore Road resident Denis Watson told the council's planning department wrote: ”The visual impact and loss of open space will be tremendous. Hesketh Bank is a flat marsh plain, and there is no undulating countryisde or natural structure that will mitigate the impact of these huge turbines.

“Their excessive height is totall out of context in such a position and will impact excessively and negatively on the green belt countryside in which they will be located.”

Applicants Manning UK said they felt the turbines would have “no negative effects” on the local landscape and was in accordance with both regional and national planning policies.

In a design statement submitted to the council, the company said: “The proposed construction and operation of the turbines can be carried out without having an impact on the ecology or hydrology of the site We are aware that the RSPB has recently given its support for wind farms generally and

has now constructed one of its own at Rainham Marshes in Essex, the home to numerous species of birds

”One of the main benefits of wind turbines is that they do not have a permanent impact on the environment. Once the turbine ceases to produce electricity it can be removed and the land can be returned to its former condition.

The design and colour minimises the visibility of the structure, mitigating the impact of the turbine.“

However, the firm could find that an objection lodged by the Ministry of Defence could prevent the turbines from being approved, after the body argued that the masts would pose a risk to the radar systems used for flights in and out of Warton Aerodromes, which is used for testing of military aircraft. Earlier this year The Champion reported that plans for a smaller wind turbine in Aughton had been scuppered after the MOD raised similar objections to that proposal.

The application for the Hesketh Bank wind turbines is due to be discussed by West Lancashire's planning committee later this year.


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