The fight to stop the development of a massive wind farm in the Cheshire countryside will continue – no matter what planners decided last night.
Objectors told the Chronicle last week they were ‘disappointed and concerned’ that Vale Royal Borough Council has recommended the application be approved by the special planning committee meeting last night. However, even if it is given it the go-ahead, residents who have fought the plans are reassured that the plan will have to be subject to a public inquiry.
Campaigners say the four 125m wind turbine generators proposed by applicant Tegni Cymru at Aston will be visible and audible from parts of Acton Bridge, Crowton and Kingsley.
During lengthy public consultations Vale Royal Borough Council planning chief Richard Ellison said due to its Green Belt site and the scale of the development, developers would have to prove ‘very special circumstances’ to justify a departure from Vale Royal’s Local Plan.
But in his report to members of the planning committee, he states: ‘Very special circumstances have been shown to demonstrate why the development is acceptable in the wider environmental benefits it brings, in line with the Government’s objectives on climate change and its contribution towards renewable energy targets.’
Mr Ellison said: ‘Even if the planning committee accepts my recommendation, it cannot actually issue that approval because the site is in the Green Belt and would be a significant departure from the Local Plan. It would have to go to the Secretary of State for consideration.’
Committee members visited the site on Friday morning to assess the scheme, and the developer and objectors presented their cases at a special gathering later that day.
Weaver Vale MP Mike Hall said it would be ‘a very visible blot on a very beautiful landscape’. He added: ‘There are very strong grounds for rejecting this application. I’m not at all convinced there is a need for these four turbines. I understand the amount of energy they would produce is limited.’
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