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A changing landscape  

Credit:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 26 January 2012 ~~

Lancashire’s landscape will be transformed over the next 12 months with scores of wind turbines, it can be revealed today.

An Evening Post investigation has found plans for 45 wind turbines have been approved in the past six months or are in the pipeline, many sparking dozens of objections.

Preston Council is also carrying out a feasibility study into building a series of huge wind turbines on the bank of the River Ribble, close to the Ribble Link and Savick Brook.

Firms which install wind turbines claim they provide a vital boost to the rural economy but opponents, such as those against a turbine off Flag Lane in Penwortham, near Preston, say they are a blight on the countryside.

A 24-metre turbine was built off Ashley Lane in Goosnargh, near Preston, despite a raft of objections.

Stan Hunter, chairman of Whittingham Parish Council which objected to the plan, said: “It sticks out like a sore thumb. Anything like this should blend in with the countryside.

“No matter what you do they will be seen from somewhere but for residential areas you should not be able to see them.

“The countryside is going to look a right mess.”

Former Preston councillor Bill Tyson objected to the plan during a committee vote and believes the location sets a precedent for new turbines being built. He said: “It was about where they put them.

“On Ashley Lane, they put it right in the middle of the field.

“If it had been next to a building I would not have minded but putting it in the middle was ridiculous.

“It ended up going in the middle and that sets a precedent for other areas.”

Turbine installers say the electricity generated by a single 100 metre turbine meets the power needs of 2,000 average households and avoids the production of 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.

Among the biggest plan to have been submitted recently is at Cross House Farm in Garstang, near Preston, where an application has been lodged for a 130-metre turbine.

It would be the second of its kind in the area, with a 124-metre turbine at nearby Dewlay Cheese plant in the town.

Wyre councillor Alice Collinson, who represents the Garstang ward, said some people may have been shocked when the Dewlay turbine was installed, but they have since come round to it.

She said: “A lot of people did not like the Dewlay turbine but I think they kind of like it because it is a landmark.”

Preston councillor Ken Hudson, who represents the Preston Rural North ward, said a balance needed to be struck between green energy and protecting the countryside.

He said: “Clearly, the country has got to go green, we have got to promote renewable energy, but we have not got to be devastating the countryside at the same time.

“We have lovely countryside here but at the same time, you have got to promote renewable energy.”

David Saxon, of Wind Direct which is the firm behind the Dewlay turbine and the planned Cross House Farm site, said such schemes were proving popular because they were saving firms thousands.

His business attains planning permission before funding, installing and running wind turbines, in return for selling electricity back to the land owner at a discounted rate.

He added: “We have got to be very careful to make sure it is in the right location.

“90% of the projects we put into planning come out with a positive outcome.

Source:  Lancashire Evening Post, www.lep.co.uk 26 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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