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Public's fears of a 'turbine takeover'

Villagers in Flimby gave their reactions to plans for a wind farm development on their doorstep last night.

West Coast Energy Limited wants to build three 102-metre turbines at Flimby Hall Farm.

A public exhibition was held in Flimby School yesterday where people where able to discuss all aspects of the proposals with company representatives.

Steve Salt, West Coast Energy’s planning director, said the exercise had been useful in gauging opinion ahead of the firm lodging a planning application before the end of the year.

He said: “There has been a mixed response.

“We do appreciate that in this particular part of the world there are a number of existing schemes in the planning process but we’ve done a detailed assessment of all the environmental effects and we think we’ve got a good location for a small wind farm scheme.”

The turbines in Flimby would be at Flimby Hall Farm, about 1.5km to the east of the village and 1.5km to the west of Broughton Moor.

It is predicted that the wind farm could generate enough electricity to cover the average annual energy requirements of around 4,200 homes.

However, some villagers – who were able to see how the turbines would look from where they live, with the help of a computer programme – remained unconvinced by the scheme.

Keith Berwick, 68, of Beckside, said: “We’re going to be surrounded by them – we will have the ones on the water (Robin Rigg) then these ones behind us. This has come right out of the blue for the people of Flimby.”

Belinda Kent, of Coniston Avenue, said she believed more should be done to explore other green options such as wave power and educating the public to become energy efficient.

She said a series of smaller wind turbines would have less of a visual impact on the landscape than the 102-metre tall ones planned, adding: “Will we have any views that aren’t taken over by wind turbines?”

Construction of the £7.5 million Flimby Hall Farm project would take five months to complete.

By Daniel Cattanach

News & Star

25 October 2007