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Giant wind farm plan next to M6  

Preston is set to get its first wind farm – on a nature reserve next to the M6 motorway.
Locals have described the plan for Brockholes Quarry site at Samlesbury, near Preston, as “monstrous.” They claim it will destroy the natural countryside and cause major noise pollution.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust is behind multi-million pound plans to transform the land, close to junction 31 of the M6, into a 112-hectare nature reserve.

The facility is expected to attract 250,000 visitors a year, sparking traffic fears around the M6 and A59.

The site will include a visitor centre, a 250-space car park, a “recreation base” to store boats and other equipment and a “living machine” waste water treatment system based in a 50 square metre greenhouse.

But it is a glut of 18 wind turbines, 5m high, along the Samlesbury side of the M6 which has sparked the biggest concerns.

Objections to the scheme have run into double figures, with many worried that a windfarm would destroy the natural environment.

One letter, from Rachel Chatwin and Michael Cookson, of Potters Lane, Samlesbury, describes the turbines as “ugly eyesores.”

Their objection states: “The wind turbines will have a significant impact on the landscape. They are ugly eyesores which will be visible for miles around.

“The development of the monstrous wind turbines, once operational, will increase noise pollution triple-fold.”

A letter from Wilsons Contractors, based in Potters Lane, said: “I feel these turbines are totally out of place in this beautiful valley and could cause serious distraction to motorway traffic.”

One resident of Preston New Road said: “This to me seems excessive for the size of the site. These turbines will also cause a further distraction to motorists on an already accident-prone stretch of the M6.”

Several residents are also concerned about birds and other wildlife flying into the structures.

A spokesman for Lancashire Wildlife Trust said the wind turbines were only an option.

He said: “The place has to be self-sustaining or we cannot afford to run it as a nature reserve.

“One of the options – and it is only an option – is to use these wind turbines if it is an effective means of powering the cafe and offices we want to build.”

The turbines will not be typical propeller versions but will use the latest technology – so called “vertical access” turbines, he added.

They would be compact and not distracting to drivers.

The application will be considered by Lancashire County Council’s development control committee at a date yet to be decided.

Lancashire Evening Post

29 April 2008

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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