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‘Monstrous’ turbine plan sparks fury  

Credit:  The Bolton News, www.theboltonnews.co.uk 25 May 2012 ~~

A farmer went head-to-head with neighbours and councillors over plans to put up a 164ft tall wind turbine.

Andy Paton wants to put up the turbine at Birches Farm in Turton – which would be in Bolton, but Bury Council has a say on the plans because Bury residents would be able to see it.

After a fierce debate in Bury Town Hall, Bury Council decided not to oppose the plan and leave the decision with Bolton Council.

There are already two 59ft-tall turbines on Mr Paton’s land and a third would provide enough power for 300 homes, he said.

The National Grid would then pay Mr Paton for providing the energy – but not everyone is happy.

Joanne Wilcock, chairman of the Affetside Society, told the planning committee meeting that more information was needed.

She said: “There is no noise survey information.

“We can’t make a judgement without such vital information.

“Over 100 Affetside residents oppose this idea and we need more time to consider the evidence.”

Bury Council’s development manager Dave Marno said: “Bolton Council will have gathered a great deal of evidence about this application and will make an informed decision at the right time.

“It is the council’s position that we do not object and we let Bolton make the decision.”

Cllr Iain Gartside, who represents Tottington, said: “The council officers must remember they are only one third of this town’s representation.

“There is also the residents and elected members. To convey a message that we have no objection would not be a correct state of affairs.”

Cllr Yvonne Wright, who is on the committee, said: “A third turbine would look monstrous.

“I find the council officers’ assumption that we should not object to be very offensive.”

Mr Paton defended his application, saying it would be “madness” to rely on expensive imported energy.

He said: “The turbine would save us money, help us employ workers and help the environment.

“I care passionately about my land. It is my shop floor. This is a business decision with many benefits.”

Mr Paton applied to Bolton Council for planning permission in December but has now withdrawn the application due to a technical issue.

He intends to resubmit the application soon and the council would then begin a consultation period before making a decision later this year.

Source:  The Bolton News, www.theboltonnews.co.uk 25 May 2012

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

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