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“Goliath” wind turbine plan thrown out

Plans for two giant wind turbines which would have dominated the Wyre countyside have been defeated.

Around 30 local residents descended on Wyre Council’s planning committee yesterday to ensure plans at Pilling for the power generators, which would have been 410ft tall at the tips of the blades, were thrown out.

Protesters brought their own scale model of one of the turbines, complete with model church, bus, phone box and human figure to illustrate the impact.

The proposal was from Cornwall Light and Power who claimed the turbines at Orchard End Farm Eagland Hill,would generate energy for 2,000 homes.

They had been listed for approval.

But councillors accepted the arguments the turbines would dominate the landscape and would also be a danger to an important population of pink-footed geese and rejected the plans.

Among members of the public who spoke against the scheme was Brian Salisbury, representing five people, who said: “I’m astounded at your officers’ decision to support this application in what is one of the most open countryside areas in the borough.”

He said the turbines would be as high as the public gallery on Blackpool Tower.

Mr Salisbury added: “I believe this will have the biggest impact in your borough since the Canatxx application.

“These turbines are Goliaths. You need to be aware of the significance of the impact they are going to have.”

Rachel Parker of Poole Lane, Nateby, said that at her family’s farm they had tried to encourage wildlife.

She said: “If the birds go away, they won’t come back. We have worked so hard – please don’t blow it.”

A statement by the developers said: “Whether wind turbines are unacceptable visually intrusive is a subjective opinion and while this proposal is with in a flat landscape it does not ultimately mean it is unacceptable.”
Coun David Williams said turbines were an expensive way to generate electricity and added: “It’s the most costly and inefficient method of lowering CO2 emissions yet devised.”

Coun Ron Shewan asked: “There are two now, how many later?”

The council received 302 letters of objections. And among the objectors anxious about the geese were Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and the Royal Society for the protection of birds.

The Wildlife Trust said sites near the turbines were of international importance for pink-footed geese.

By Tom Halstead

The Gazette

8 May 2008