Hundreds of campaigners battling to stop a wind farm being built near Nantwich are vowing to fight on if councillors approve a wind mast tomorrow.
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council’s planning officers are advising councillors to approve a 60-metre mast which would monitor the potential for a wind farm at picturesque Bickerton Hill.
The council has been inundated with more than 400 letters of objection and a 171-name petition has been delivered to Crewe’s Municipal Buildings.
The Stop Bickerton Wind Turbines (SBWT) group believes the mast will soon be followed by an application for a wind farm with turbines as high as Blackpool Tower and it has spent thousands of pounds to employ a solicitor to help fight it.
But despite the protests, councillors are likely to accept Banks Developments Ltd’s plans at a meeting tomorrow.
SBWT chairman Mike Voisey said: “This is just the beginning and we are determined to fight on to save beautiful Bickerton.”
The Nantwich Natural History Society and Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are just two of the objectors, as well as Crewe and Nantwich borough councillors Stan Davies and Brian Dykes and Eddisbury MP Stephen O’Brien.
And the action group is questioning an apparent shift in the supporting statements for the mast.
SBWT secretary Charles Hobson said: “It would appear that the developers have moved from ‘whether’ to ‘how’, and whereas the original application suggested that the mast is required for 36 months to gather data at the site, it would now appear that an application for the construction of industrial wind turbines could follow quite soon.”
A spokesman for Banks said any adverse effects on the countryside would be reversible, adding: “The area in question is one of the most potent wind sources in Cheshire. The proposed mast has the ability to be fully decommissioned at the end of the operation period.”
SBWT is holding a public meeting next Wednesday (February 13) at 7pm at Bickerton Village Hall to consider its action plan.
by James A. Oliver
6 February 2008
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