South Cheshire MP Stephen O’Brien has given has backing to rural Nantwich villagers in their fight to save one of Cheshire’s most valued landscapes from the threat of a wind power development.
The shadow health minister is an outspoken critic of the government’s generous subsidies for land-based wind farms.
He has now pledged his support to the action group Stop Bickerton Wind Turbines in its opposition to a controversial planning application to erect a wind monitoring mast at the foot of Bickerton Hill.
The action group fears that if permission goes ahead for the mast, it will be followed by a proposal for the an industrial wind power station which will destroy one of the county’s most popular tourist destinations.
The planning application comes before the borough council’s Development Control committee on February 7.
Stephen O’Brien said: “A large number of local people are concerned about the Bickerton proposals.
“I believe that this is not a suitable location for a development of this type.
“The impact on the landscape, environment and residential amenity would be unacceptable, in my view, and I will be giving the objectors to these proposals my full support.
“I will be studying the proposals in greater detail and discussing their potential impact with all parties.
“Unfortunately, as many other local planning authorities have found, an initial successful application for wind turbines often leads to a flood of similar applications once the precedent has been set.
“The amount of electricity produced by wind turbines is not sufficiently significant to meet the UK’s renewable energy needs.
“Their subsidy through the taxpayer under this Labour Government’s policy fails to make logical or economic sense.
“The Conservatives are not against wind turbines per se, but we do believe that communities must be won over, not walked over.”
Chairman of the Bickerton action group Mike Voisey added: “We have been contacted by walkers, horse riders and cyclists from several counties who are appalled that such a very special area is under threat.”
The action group is urging supporters to continue writing or emailing objections to the borough council quoting PO7/1432 and to register at www.stopbickertonwindturbines.co.uk
22 January 2008
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