Campaigners are celebrating after an application for a ‘wind farm’ in Weir was thrown out by council planners.
The Green Company’s plans for four 34.2 metre high wind turbines at Scar End Farm were rejected following a lengthy debate attended by 40 protesters last night.
The committee ruled the turbines would have an unacceptable visual and ecological impact and as close as 350 metres away would overlook houses, leading to possible noise and shadow flicker disturbance. It also decided the cumulative effect could lead to a wind farm landscape.
Summing up, Coun David Stansfield said: “Let this be a lesson to people who want to come into our Valley. We are not here to be picked off by wind farms and finance.”
Bacup councillor Andy MacNae claimed the applicant had done the “minimum possible” at every stage, including in its public consultation and a “derisory” offer of £3,000 per year compensation.
He said: “These turbines are going to cause a level of noise and disturbance to residents and rear over houses in the village. Three hundred and fifty metres is incredibly close and I cannot think of another development where they are this close.”
Colleague Coun Jimmy Eaton said two well used public footpaths and bridleways would have to be diverted.
He added: “On your site visit you will have seen the beautiful views from different locations. What is it going to look like if this application is passed?”
A total of 340 residents objected to the development, and a War on Weir Wind Farm group was set up.
Public speakers pointed out the cumulative impact of nearby wind developments at Cliviger, Todmorden Moor and Reaps Moss.
Campaigner Ray Pilling added: “It is not possible to accurately predict the noise levels. Turbines cause anxiety, depression and nausea.”
Roy Amner, energy generation director, said the Green Company had been advised by the local authority to consult directly with them as there was no parish council in Weir.
He said that the noise assessment report showed no properties would suffer noise or flicker disturbance, and said properties and public footpaths would also be unaffected by ‘ice throw’.
He added it was wrong to call the development a ‘wind farm’ as it was for fewer than five turbines, prompting Coun Jacqui Oakes to claim it was “quite cynical” to apply for four windmills, “knowing the criteria is quite substantially different.”
The committee unanimously rejected the plans.
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