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Claim that wind probe would 'devastate' area  

Controversial plans for a wind farm on Bickerton Hills have caused outrage with angry objectors who say it will blot the natural beauty of the area.

Durham-based Banks Developments Ltd has applied to Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council for planning permission for a 60-metre high wind monitoring mast on land off Long Lane.

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 after a similar application was defeated at Ashton, which objectors claimed 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.

“This is a place of natural beauty and the Sandstone Trail attracts visitors from far and wide.

“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 off-shore 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.

Mrs Reeves and fellow resident Claire Merlin-Davies have letter dropped their areas encouraging everyone to object.

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.

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.”

by Samantha Parker

Chester Chronicle

23 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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