The government is planning on building 7,000 wind turbines in the UK – but campaigners firmly believe that Vale Royal is definitely not the place for them.
On June 18 the Guardian reported that Vale Royal Borough Council plans to spend £60,000 fighting the proposed wind farm at Aston Grange.
A public inquiry for that site will be heard on August 19.
But only last week Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the UK should be a leader in renewable energy – and announced plans to build an extra 4,000 onshore and 3,000 offshore turbines.
Clr Steve Pardoe, from Acton Bridge Parish Council, has campaigned against the wind farm since the very beginning.
“The wind farms have got to be in places where they are not intrusive. The site at Aston Grange is just not very good.
“There are sites in the Lake District where the turbines are not as large because they don’t have to be, there is enough wind there.
“A view widely shared between environmentalists is offshore turbines make sense and you’re not blotting the countryside.”
The Government passed a new planning bill last week that means decisions for major projects, such as windfarms, will be passed to an unelected independent body, rather than the secretary of state.
More than 60 Labour MPs have signed a Commons motion saying the new committee would be undemocratic. 17 Labour MPs defied the Government.
Mike Hall, MP for Weaver Vale, voted for the new arrangement.
Steve added: “I think that the concern is that the Government and those in Whitehall don’t have any idea what happens in rural communities.
“If you centralise things in London you won’t get the local consultation.
“It’s probably too late to affect the Aston Grange inquiry because it’s already under way but for other projects you would worry that the local people can’t have a say in it.”
By James Wilson
6 July 2008
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