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Fight goes on over 'monster' windmill

Protesters will today renew their bid to halt plans for a modern windmill being built in the heart of one of Liverpool’s best-known conservation areas.

Children’s charity Kind wants to build the wind turbine to generate electricity alongside their base in Back Canning Street in the Georgian quarter of the city, close to the Anglican Cathedral.

Council planning officers have recommended approval should be given to the three-bladed turbine, which will have a diameter of five metres.

Opponents fear the whirring noise of the turbine will disturb them, but they also say its location within sight of the cathedral is unsuitable.

When the application came before the planning committee several weeks ago, a number of local residents registered their protests.

The committee decided to defer a final decision until after a site visit, which takes place today.

Members of the committee will visit the area to see for themselves the site of the proposed turbine before returning to the town hall to make a decision.

Protesters will again oppose the scheme at today’s meeting.

Eight letters of objection and a 34-name petition have already been submitted by local residents who oppose the proposal.

Some residents have described the wind turbine as a “monster” that will overwhelm the appearance and character of the conservation area.

Neighbours also argue the turbine will be hazardous to the local birds which flock and nest in local trees.

Residents also fear that if the proposal is approved it could set a precedent for similar devices to be built in the area.

Architect Neill Fozard has defended the proposed turbine. He said: “It is pretty silent and rarely goes above background noise. It is the same level of noise as the wind rustling through the trees.”

The Rodney Street Association have also expressed opposition, saying they believe it is unlikely that a wind-driven turbine will generate any significant energy output, as it will be hedged in by large buildings.

KIND have occupied the large plot of land in Back Canning Street for some years. It was previously known as the City Farm and a collection of animals lived on the site, which was used as a study centre for local children.

Since KIND took over the city farm in 1997, they have worked with 4,000 children on environ-mental education projects.

KIND’s new project aims to create a carbon-neutral facility which will incorporate a number of alternative energy sources, such as wind power. There are already solar panels on the building.

The wind turbine, if approved, will be capable of generating 12,000 kilowatt hours of electricity – more power than the entire needs of the KIND centre. It is even possible that spare power can be sold into the national grid system.

By Larry Neild

Liverpool Daily Post

22 August 2007