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Appeal launched over West Lancashire council’s rejection of wind turbine plans at Walkers site

An appeal has been lodged over the council’s decision to reject plans to install a wind turbine at the Walkers Factory.

West Lancashire Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme in March.

But Walkers’ parent company PepsiCo has now decided to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

In a letter to the council, Simon Ely, manufacturing director for PepsiCo, said the turbine was part of their plans to contribute to the “fight against climate change” and would allow them to “grow in the right way”.

He said the appeal would ask the planning inspector to reconsider the conclusions from the planning committee that the turbine would create “unacceptable visual impairment” and whether it gave “sufficient weight” to national planning guidance, under which officers recommended approval should be granted.

He said: “We were pleased to see the planning officer’s report reflected our view that there would not be a detrimental impact issues such as wildlife and residential amenity, and that the turbine’s output would be well within acceptable noise levels.”

West Lancashire Council’s planning department received 714 letters of objection to the original scheme, and campaigner Alan Horridge said: “We’re very disappointed [with the appeal]. When we had the hearing for the initial application there was massive objection against the plans. People wrote letters, sent petitions. I wrote to them with a series of concerns after the decision in case they were planning to appeal.

“They finally wrote back to me four weeks ago saying they hadn’t made a decision but obviously now they have. It’s ridiculous to say the council got it wrong.

“We hope the planning inspector will listen to the councillors who were acting on behalf of the people, democracy still has a place and we hope that will be shown.”