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Turbine trauma in quiet village  

Credit:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 11 March 2011 ~~

Neighbours today claimed their views of the Lancashire countryside would be destroyed by a 24 metre wind turbine.

Planners have given the go-ahead for the structure to go on farmland off Ashley Lane in Goosnargh, Preston, at the second time of asking following concerns over the noise and the impact on residents’ views.

But people living in the area, who lodged objections, said the pale grey turbine was like a “sore thumb”.

Stan Hunter, chairman of Whittingham Parish Council, said: “It’s stuck there like a sore thumb in the middle of the field. I feel really, really strongly about it. It’s the thin end of the wedge.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t be there, but they should be nearer the farm, not in the middle of the field, it’s horrible.

“I know they’re in farming to make money but it shouldn’t spoil the pleasure of everybody else around.”

Councillors voted eight to five in favour of the turbine following a lengthy debate.

Deputy chairman Bill Tyson said: “It frightens me this. If we start sticking these in every field all over the country, what a mess it’s going to look.

“I think they could have moved it and they haven’t made an effort to.”

Coun Tom Davies said he recently drove past wind farms in Skipton and Colne and said: “Not one of those turbines was working. It’s a waste of space and I don’t think we should allow it.”

But Coun Dave Hammond said he could not think of any “planning grounds” for turning the application down but said: “Is there any way we could reduce the advancement of these?

“There must be some way we can say we’re not going to have one of these in every field.”

Chris Hayward, the council’s assistant director (city planning officer) said: “I’d be very concerned about any policy which says we should be refusing permission for wind turbines.

“There may well be areas of particular sensitivity such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

Liz Johnson from Preston Council’s planning department, said the turbine had to be at least 150 metres from neighbours’ homes and 100 metres from the applicants’ home. She said noise from the turbine would not exceed the current “background” noise of 35 decibels.

The noise report was commissioned by the applicant, Tim Sture.

She said: “Officers are quite satisfied noise will not be a reason to refuse the application.”

And she said the impact on the view was “not considered sufficient enough”. She said there were only two sections of the land suitable for the structure.

But Coun Kate Calder, who represents Preston Rural North, said: “I would argue therefore if there isn’t anywhere else, there’s nowhere suitable to site the turbine.

“While anybody would accept we need to consider seeking more sustainable alternatives, I would argue that this should not be at any cost.”

Source:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 11 March 2011

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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