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Anger at £23m wind farm plan  

Residents are raging over plans for a huge wind farm.

Around 10 turbines nearly as big as Blackpool Tower have been planned for a site near Marton.

Infinergy Ltd, the Dorset-based company behind the £23m project, has said each turbine would produce enough power for more than 1,000 homes.

But residents oppose the plans.

They claim the wind farm would be “a major blot” on the landscape, create “unbearable” noise, put off tourists and spoil the local economy.

One concerned Marton villager said: “The desire to build wind farms is not based on local needs but is driven by the profit motives of the companies and by the greed and selfishness of the landowners involved.

“They are of no value to the local communities who have to live with the visual eyesores, the noise and the detrimental effect on the wildlife.”

Villagers have hit out ahead of an important decision over the wind farm’s future.

Infinergy is seeking planning permission for a temporary mast to the north east of Standish Cote Farm and north west of Harlock Reservoir, Marton, to measure the wind. Barrow Borough Council’s planning committee is set to give the scheme the green light at its meeting tomorrow.

Planning officials are urging the panel of councillors to grant the application and it usually follows their advice.

Phil Huck, the council’s regeneration director recommending approval, explains the aim of the mast and points out that allowing the 60-metre tall structure would not be giving the go-ahead for the wind farm.

Mr Huck said: “The mast would be equipped with a series of measuring instruments, including anemometers, thermometers, air pressure sensors and wind vanes in order to establish a database of the wind characteristics within this location.

“This information would then be used to assess the suitability of the site for a wind farm, and the required type, number, and location of wind turbines.

“It must be stressed that approval of this mast would not amount to an agreement to the principle of a wind farm here. Such an application would be infinitely more complex and likely to raise significant issues beyond the (mast) proposal.”

The Evening Mail quizzed Infinergy chief executive Charles Sandham after the company made the mast application.

Mr Sandham said: “The met mast is probably going to confirm our initial feelings that it is windy enough.”

Mr Sandham said the mast would be in the centre of the site earmarked for the wind farm.

The project would cost about £23m and comprise about 10 turbines, each 125 metres tall.

He said: “Each turbine will produce enough electricity for more than 1,000 homes – and that’s green electricity, of course.”

Mr Sandham claimed Infinergy was trying to achieve clean energy for a cool planet.

Mr Sandham said most schemes he had worked on had attracted objections, mainly due to visual impact. But he said: “We find once wind projects are built, the people accept them.”

Tomorrow’s planning meeting is to start in Barrow Town Hall at 2.30pm. The public can attend.

North-West Evening Mail

26 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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