Protesters are fighting fresh plans to build a wind farm on green belt land in Mawdesley.
Dozens of villagers and members of the Mawdesley Against Wind Farms (MAWF) action group turned up to a parish council meeting last Wednesday (July 11) night to voice their objections.
Only one person out of 80 attending raised their hand to support the application.
Last November, the Advertiser reported that an application for the three 250 feet wind turbines had been submitted by Damian Culshaw, a former farmer who was brought up on Cliff’s Farm on Wood Lane in Mawdesley, and now lives in Oxford.
Mawdesley Parish Council objected to the original application because of the impact it would have on the character of the area and the wildlife, which includes a flock of whooper swans.
Mr Culshaw later withdrew the application on the recommendation of Chorley Borough Council planning officers, following Natural England’s concerns over the impact of the swans’ winter migration patterns.
Now, the application has been resubmitted, angering many local people..
MAWF claim Mr Culshaw has sent the new application to Chorley Borough Council knowing Mawdesley Parish Council would not have enough time to consider it.
Steve Smith, a member of MAWF, said: “The applicant submitted the application in May knowing that there would be no parish council meeting in June, and therefore no chance for the council to debate, discuss and object, as they did last time.”
Another member Barry Bibby said: “Despite the fact that the planning application was made on May 15 and validated on May 30, no signs have been put up near the site advertising or notifying the public of the proposal.”
MAWF believe that the application is the wrong scheme in the wrong place. Barry Bibby said: “The people of Mawdesley support reducing greenhouse gas emissions but this is a misguided scheme.
“Wind turbines do not essentially reduce greenhouse gases. This is a commercial venture in green belt land which will endanger wildlife.
“The green belt planning laws protect green belt land for historical reasons and there must be special circumstances for building on it.
“This is grade one agricultural land for growing crops. It shouldn’t be used for alternative proposed projects.”
‘Actions are not underhand’ says council over site plan
MARK Moore, principal planning officer for Chorley Borough Council, said that he would be happy to receive information or objections up to the day of the planning meeting.
“We were late putting up the site notices, they were put up last Friday, July 6. This means people have 21 days from this date to respond.
“The council is not trying to do anything underhanded. “We have lots of information to access and we must remain impartial. I am not here to defend the application nor am I here to support objectors.
“We must take as wide a consultation as possible. I am dealing with a fresh application and I must draw a line under the original. This is going to be very difficult because it’s such a contentious issue for you.”
DAMIAN Culshaw, the man behind the proposal, thinks the project would bring real benefits to Mawdesley.
“I see wind turbines as an inspiring symbol of what we can do to enhance the environment. I would be very happy living by them. This is a renewable technology we have to control climate change and global warming.
“Climate change is becoming an alarming problem for the world. Each year, the project would generate around 4.2 million kilo watt hours of electricity saving 3,600 tonnes a year of CO² compared with generating electricity from coal. This is enough for all the houses in Mawdesley Parish.”
by Gemma Jaleel, Ormskirk Advertiser
19 July 2007
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