Giant wind turbines could cause blackouts, motorway accidents and even the risk of a chemical explosion, say Frodsham and Helsby campaigners.
During an emotionally charged session at the public inquiry into Peel Energy’s proposal to build 19 wind turbines on Frodsham Marshes, councillors and residents claimed the application would:
Impact on the health of elderly residents, children and those with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.
Destroy much-loved views for residents and visitors and harm the green belt.
Cause an increase in accidents on the M56 as motorists are distracted by the moving blades.
Threaten the lives of hundreds of birds, including marsh harriers.
Limit TV reception and bring down house values across Frodsham and Helsby.
Have a detrimental impact on the annual Festival of Walks.
At the inquiry, Allison Lawrinson, who has lived in Helsby for about 26 years, said she feared potential malfunctions could lead to an explosion at Grow How or Ince Resource and Recovery Park.
She said: “I am very concerned that Peel wants to put huge turbines close to a big fertiliser factory.
“We know from the news that the turbine blades sometimes break off and can be thrown over 1km. The blades could easily smash through an oil tank or into a chemical storage warehouse.
“No matter what anyone says, how can people feel secure when things might go wrong? How can it be appropriate to put a wind turbine only 200 metres from the edge of a chemical facility?”
Richard Knowles, of Haydan Mews, said many residents used the marshes to walk and play with their children, ride bikes and walk dogs and that it would be greatly missed.
“Many of us moved to Frodsham from outside of the area, the main feeling at Haydan Mews is that we would never have moved here if the wind farm had been here,” he said.
“The flicker effect could have a major impact on one resident’s health who regularly takes walks down the lanes. The turbines’ flicker could cause blackouts which can have a massive impact on this person’s health and their life.”
One elderly Frodsham resident, Joe Beswick, who has lived in the town for 32 years, was overcome with emotion as he explained how much the marshes had meant to him throughout his life.
He said: “I now realise the marshes have played a huge part in my life, it is an oasis in an industrial desert.”
The public inquiry into Frodsham wind farm closed last Wednesday and the inspector’s decision will be published next year.