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Go-ahead for wind turbines plan, despite broad opposition?  

Plans for two giant wind turbines which will dominate the countryside between Garstang and Pilling look likely to get formal council support next week.

A Cornish-based company lodged plans to site two 80m high turbines at Orchard End Farm, Eagland Hill, with Wyre Council earlier this year.

Now, despite more than 300 letters of objection, council officials are urging the plan be given the go-ahead.

The list of the objectors includes the British Horse Society, Fylde Coast Bridleways Association, Fylde Bird Club, the RSPB, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Garstang Chamber of Trade, Garstang Town Council and the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Ornithological and naturalist groups say the plans are likely to harm the area’s population of pink-footed geese. Their protests have prompted a second round of consultation specificially on the threat to birdlife.

Residents of the isolated rural community around Eagland Hill, Out Rawcliffe and Nateby, are worried that the towers (which, including the blades, would reach a total of 125metres), would depreciate property values, damage the countryside, are too close to homes, effect local microlighting activity, frighten horses, affect people’s health by shadow flicker and noise, and cause stress to cats and dogs in pet boarding kennels and catteries in the area.

Applicant Cornwall Light and Power, which held a public consultation / display at Eagland Hill last year, says the turbines will provide green electricity over the course of a year for over 2,000 households.

They also say the turbines will prevent at least 3,550 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

It is not certain if a definite decision on the plans will be made at the planning committee as Natural England, the government’s conservation organisation, wants an assessment to be made of the likely effect of the proposal on birdlife in the area, and particularly on pink-footed geese.

The county council has told Wyre that the Over Wyre mosslands are considered capable of hosting small, medium and possibly large-scale turbines.

A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “A re-consultation on further information received (specifically a further bird survey data and collision risk assessment) is currently being carried out with Natural England, the Wildlife Trust, RSPB and the ecologist at Lancashire County Council.

“Comments are expected back in time for next Wednesday’s planning meeting and the committee will be updated as appropriate.”

If the ornithological-related issues can be solved, the committee meeting looks likely to give borough planning boss Mr Garry Payne authorisation to give the final go ahead for the scheme.

If planning permission is given the wind turbines would be likely to be erected next year, and would have a life-span of 30 years.

* Copies of the council report can be seen on Wyre Council’s website (Search for planning committee for May 7, 2008).

* The planning meeting, which is open to the public and at which the public are allowed to speak, takes place at Wyre Civic Centre, Poulton, at 2pm on Wednesday, May 7.

garstangcourier.co.uk

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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