A developer has defended its plans to build a wind mast in rural Cheshire.
Banks Development has submitted an application to Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council to erect a 60m wind mast on land off Long Lane in Bickerton.
The proposal is to monitor wind speed for a three-year period to see if a future wind farm would be viable,
Families living near the site have met to discuss how they can prevent the plan from becoming a reality.
A committee has also raised a war chest fund to fight the proposals.
But Rob Williams, renewable projects director for Banks Development, said they intended to closely consult neighbouring communities.
Outlining the proposals, he said: “The wind monitoring mast for which we submitted a planning application to Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council would, if given approval, be used to gain an understanding of the wind resource in the area and would be in position for up to three years.
“The mast would be a slender metal structure around 20cm in diameter and up to 60 metres tall and supported by guy wires.
“Such structures are not visually prominent when viewed from a distance.”
At least six months’ worth of data would be gathered from this mast before a decision was made about whether or not the location had potential for a small wind farm.
He explained: “Should a wind farm development (which, given the proposed site, would be likely to encompass a maximum of five turbines) be deemed feasible, a full public consultation exercise would also be undertaken in advance of any planning application being submitted, to ensure that local people could see the detail of any proposal and raise any queries or concerns that they might have.
“How the energy that we use is generated and utilised is one of the most important challenges facing everyone in the 21st century, and renewable energy schemes, such as the one we are currently investigating near Bickerton, will play a central role in how this challenge is addressed.”
He added: “If any readers would like any further information about our Bickerton wind monitoring mast proposals, they should contact me at Banks Developments on 01740 658500 or via bickerton @banksdevelopments.com.”
by Barry Ellams
11 January 2008
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