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Residents opposing a wind turbine on farmland close to Rushall Canal hand in a 999-signature petition to Walsall Council  

Credit:  by Steve Bradley, Birmingham Mail, www.birminghammail.net 14 September 2011 ~~

Worried residents have stepped up their campaign against a wind turbine in a Walsall beauty spot close to their homes – by handing councillors a 999-signature petition.

The 40m mast and 57m-diameter rotor planned for College Farm in Bosty Lane, close to Rushall Canal has upset neighbours, who claim it will be an eyesore in beautiful green belt land and create an almighty din.

But both the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Friends of the Earth have backed the scheme, believing that turning to green energy is the only way of protecting wildlife and the natural environment. Protesters near the site claimed the blades would “maim and kill bird life”.

St Matthew’s Tory ward councillor Mohammed Arif, co-ordinator of Hatherton Residents Against Wind Turbine Group said: “Thanks to all the residents who have signed the petition and continue to display posters in their windows across Hatherton, Aldridge and Rushall-Shelfield.

“Planning officers will now consider the planning application and can determine the planning application under delegated authority or refer it to the planning committee for determination. We have requested that due to public interest it should be referred to the planning committee, unless officers are minded to refuse it.”

Walsall Council had received 50 letters of objections and seven in support by the end of the consultation period last week. But residents could still write in, Coun Arif said.

He added: “Councillors from all three wards continue to work with residents to stop plans to cover Walsall with wind farms by organising public opposition. We will do everything possible to stop this development in our area of natural beauty to preserve nature and wildlife.”

Martin Normanton, climate change expert for Walsall Friends of the Earth, said the site was not close to houses. He added: “Because the turbine is an unknown, I can understand people’s fears, but all studies show the great majority of people who object to turbines, once they’ve been put up, say they’re not bothered by them at all.”

Source:  by Steve Bradley, Birmingham Mail, www.birminghammail.net 14 September 2011

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