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‘Weak support’ for Wirral windfarm expansion plan

Plans to double the size of a wind farm off Wirral’s coast have been given “weak support” by the borough’s planners.

Denmark-based Dong Energy wanted the local authority’s views on its proposals to increase the size of Burbo Bank wind farm from 30 to 75 turbines.

The company unveiled its plans last year to increase the size of the development, which sits four miles off the coast of Hoylake, to generate enough electricity for 170,000 homes.

However Wirral’s planning committee, which met last night to discuss the plan, is “cautious” in its approach to the plans and has asked for more information.

Councillor David Elderton, Conservative spokesman for the committee, said: “I have been very concerned about the whole issue of wind farms for about eight years now.

“My objections centre mainly around the fact that they are not an efficient way of generating electricity.

“We didn’t say we’re supporting this particular application but broadly speaking, we are in favour of green energy such as tidal power and wave power.

“We were not sure about the benefits of wind power and we want to preserve our position until we have a lot more knowledge.

“I happen to live in view of the turbines and half the time they are not even rotating and therefore not being efficient energy sources at all.”

If given the green light, the turbine development would cover an area of 40km square and would have a maximum “tip height” of 235m.

Committee chairman Cllr Bernie Mooney added that councillors were still concerned about the visual and environmental impact of the scheme.

She said: “We gave the plans very weak support in principle but an awful lot of work still needs to be done.

“The effect on tourism, jobs and the environment all need to be considered.

“It is still in the very early stages and we are being extremely cautious in our approach.”