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Wind farm debate starts to get personal  

Theman behind the controversial Mawdesley wind farm application has defended himself ahead of a key debate at the village hall.

Feelings in the community are running high with Chorley Council currently considering plans to erect three wind turbines on a popular local beauty spot.

At a ‘drop-in’ question and answer session on October 28 held by the applicant Damian Culshaw at the village hall, residents’ action group Mawdesley Against Wind Farms (MAWF) also presented information.

Both sides were demonstrating their case before the November 1 cut-off point for the neighbour consultation period.

Mr Culshaw is due to speak tonight (Wed) at a debate before the monthly Mawdesley Parish Council meeting.

He said: “I’ve had some good reaction, nice emails and brave help from some people during my workshop.

“But I’m dreading the meeting, it got very personal at the weekend, very unpleasant. It’s a shame that its gone that way as it doesn’t represent the views of many.

“I told them it has to be financially viable as I don’t have deep pockets and I’m not a charity, but I’m not getting any grants.”

Mr Culshaw explained: “There’s a whole mixture of ways it can be financed and it’s not fixed yet. It only makes money by selling units of energy and there is no taxpayers’ money going into it.

“The format didn’t work well for me, I was put in a side room and the protestors had the main hall. People then came in mob-handed.

“My main motive is not financial. I’ve been working on renewable energy projects for 15 years and I want to be able to face my grandchildren, who face a future in an uncertain world.”

One hour has been set aside for tonight’s debate, before the parish council meeting, with both sides allowed five minutes to present their case.

If the application gets the go-ahead, three wind turbines will be erected on Mawdesley Moss, something that MAWF spokesman Barry Bibby is set against.

In a statement Mr Bibby said: “Most people were very much against the planning application. Some people who live in the vicinity of Cliffs Farm were very vocal in their opposition.

“The day was well attended and it is clear that many people care greatly about issues like CO2 reductions and renewable energy.

“But in the case of wind farms, they expressed the view that they need to be sited in areas which should not greatly affect the greenbelt and a well used local amenity environment like Mawdesley and Croston Moss.”

Tonight’s open meeting, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, will be restricted to planning issues, with planners and members from the RSPB present.


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