Jubilant campaigners were celebrating after a wind mast planned for a Cheshire beauty spot was rejected last night.
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council’s planning councillors voted 7-4 to overturn advice of officers to approve a 60-metre mast which could pave the way for a wind farm at Bickerton Hill.
More than 400 letters of objection and a 171-name petition had been delivered to council offices to protest against Banks Development’s application.
The National Trust and Eddisbury MP Stephen O’Brien had also observed that any wind farm could ruin the area’s tourism potential.
Objectors had pointed out that the wind mast was:
Near to the Sandstone Trail
In an area of Special County Value
Close to Cholmondeley Estate parkland
The Stop Bickerton Wind Turbines (SBWT) group argued that had the mast been approved it would have opened the floodgates for wind farm applications.
Stop Bickerton Wind Turbines (SBWT) chairman Mike Voisey said: “We are delighted with the good judgement of the councillors. They have obviously listened to the opinions of residents, visitors and local businesses who have overwhelmingly backed us in our opposition to the wind mast.
“However we suspect that the developers are likely to appeal against the rejection of the planning application.
“We are already working on our future strategy. We are determined to fight on to save beautiful Bickerton.”
Rob Williams, director of renewables at Banks Development recently told The Chronicle: “The mast would be a slender metal structure around 20cm in diameter and up to 60 metres tall. Such structures are not be visually prominent 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.
“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 at 7pm at Bickerton Village Hall to consider its action plan.
By Barry Ellams
8 February 2008
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