A public inquiry is set to be held into controversial plans for a giant wind farm near Chester.
Plans to build a 20 turbine onshore windfarm and generating station were rejected at a strategic planning board meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council after a public outcry from residents in and around Elton, Helsby and Frodsham.
Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne is to be asked to hold a public inquiry into the plans which are centred on Green Belt land at Lordship Lane in Frodsham.
The council was asked for its views by the Government, which is considering the application by Peel Wind Farms (Frodsham) Limited.
Peel argues the farm would have the capacity to power 28,500 homes and offset the production of up to 67,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas a year.
However, consultations by Peel have led to 563 letters and representations objecting to the development. There have been almost 300 letters of support.
CWaC councillor Les Ford told the meeting: “The green belt was established to prevent industrialisation of this area. The wind turbines are an industrial element quite contrary to our green belt policy. No mitigation is possible. Also the low frequency noise of the turbines will penetrate house walls.”
Cllr Ford also raised the issue of protected species of birds and bats, claiming thousands could be killed by the turbines and argued that this was contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This issue will now be raised with Mr Huhne.
The three bladed grey turbines have a maximum height of 80 metres to the hub and 125 metres to the tip, giving a rotor radius of approximately 45 metres.
Approximately 4,498 homes would be within 2km of turbines. The residential assessment has identified that 36 per cent would experience changes in views.
Cllr Malcolm Gaskill said: “In the past I have supported wind farms until I went to Anglesey and saw those monsters and I have hated wind farms ever since. They should be in the North Sea.”
Cllr Stuart Parker added: “Having seen the big wheel outside the HQ building here in Chester that is 50 metres high, the wind turbines would be up to 120 metres. This really brings it home to you.”
Ten committee members voted against the plan and there was one abstention.
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