Controversial plans for a wind farm on Bickerton Hill have caused outrage with angry objectors saying it will be a blot on Nantwich’s rural landscape.
Durham-based Banks Developments Ltd has applied to Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council for planning permission for a 60-metre high wind monitoring mast on land off Long Lane – the first application of its type in the district.
The proposal is for a temporary period of three years for wind speed data to be collected to see if the site is suitable for a wind farm.
It comes hot on the heels of plans for a wind farm at Woore, another application which objectors claim would have an overbearing impact on the landscape.
Bickerton residents received letters notifying them of the application last week. Kate Reeves, whose home overlooks the site, said: ‘Wind farms turn the countryside into an industrial area and it would be devastating here.
‘I believe the erection of this mast is not in the interest of local people and the implications and possible consequences resulting from such a structure are onerous in the extreme.
‘There is more and more evidence to show wind farms are not value for money.
‘There are many other options such as offshore wind farms and wave power.’
Residents fear there could be as many as 15 turbines built in the long run and have vowed to fight to keep the area free from any development.
Cllr Stan Davies has ‘called in’ the application to be discussed at committee level and says it would be unsuitable in an area of special county value.
He added: ‘This is wrong. It is a beautiful area and the mast would be seen for miles around off the Sandstone Trail. We are trying to encourage more tourism and a wind farm would be a blot on the landscape.’
Objections must be lodged with the borough council by November 23.
A planning officer said the council’s policy is to look to encourage any form of renewable energy but not to compromise amenity or allow visual intrusion.
A Banks spokesman said: ‘The proposed mast, due to its slender design and guy ropes, would cause little obstruction or intrusion within the landscape, have no detrimental impact on the character of the area and not be a prominent feature visible from the Maiden Castle scheduled ancient monument.’
by James A. Oliver
14 November 2007
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