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Turbines proceed despite geese plea  

Credit:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 3 August 2011 ~~

Plans for two giant wind turbines in Lancashire that threaten to claim the lives of scores of pink-footed geese every year have been given the go-ahead by the High Court.

The legality of the plans was unsuccessfully challenged by residents at Eagland Hill, near Pilling.

The proposed turbines will be located about five kilometres from Morecambe Bay where a special protection area hosts a range of birds, including pink-footed geese.

The geese commute inland for up to 10km from their roosting sites on the north-west coast to feed on grain and winter cereal crops.

They feed in fields adjacent to where the giant turbines will stand 80 metres high at the hub, with a blade tip height of 125 metres.

A judge heard all sides are agreed there is a risk that up to 50 geese a year will collide with the turbines.

But the developers, Cornwall Light and Power Company Ltd, were eventually given the go-ahead by a Government planning inspector after agreeing to provide compensatory feeding grounds for the geese.

The anti-turbine Eagland Hill Action Group (EHAG) fought a last-ditch High Court bid to block the scheme, arguing the inspector, David Pinner, erred in law by failing to reconsider whether an environmental impact assessment was necessary, and failing to conduct an appropriate assessment under EU wild birds and habitats directives.

EHAG also argued there was procedural unfairness because the group was not invited to take part in the discussion on the compensation proposals for the geese.

Judge Pelling QC, sitting as a High Court judge in Manchester, rejected all the grounds of challenge.

Source:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 3 August 2011

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