Walkers Crisps are to go ahead with plans to build a 125-metre wind turbine at their Skelmersdale base in Pimbo despite the council receiving 700 letters objecting to the proposals from residents.
Walkers want to increase the amount of renewable energy at the site and build the turbine, which they say would generate 30% of power at the plant.
A council spokeswoman said: “The council has received approximately 700 letters of objection related to the planning application.
”This number is subject to change as we may still receive letters from the public in the next coming weeks until the application is considered at planning committee.“
PepsiCo, which owns Walkers, say the application is ”positive for the local community“ and they have gone through an extensive consultation with the local community.
Among those opposing the plan, however, is Skelmersdale resident Alan Horridge, who said the numbers of letters of objection: ”finally puts the nail in the coffin of the preposterous claim by the company for local support for the project.“
He added: ”The plan has minuscule local support. There are no additional jobs created by the proposal. The development would blight the whole area.
“The only gain is for PepsiCo who will be able to make a bit more profit for their shareholders. Not what I’d call a great deal for the people of Skelmersdale and surrounding areas.”
Simon Ely, site manager for Walkers, Skelmersdale, said: “While we are aware of a petition appended to a recent submission to the local authority that raised concerns about the proposal for a wind turbine at our Skelmersdale site, we intend to go ahead with the application.
”We consulted widely on the planning application and received a wide range of views from the community both supportive and concerned, which we have listened to very carefully.
“There are many misconceptions surrounding the installation of a wind turbine and we would urge anyone with concerns to look at a range of credible sources rather than a single report.
”The proposed wind turbine shows that Walkers is investing in our site and the local community for the long term. The well being of our neighbours and our workforce is very important to us.
“We believe the turbine would be good for Skelmersdale, the environment and the local economy.
”Our response to the submission can be found at http://webdocs.westlancsdc.gov.uk/AnitePublicDocs/00341934.pdf.“