March 28, 2013

Campaigners’ anger as Walkers win planning appeal for 125m turbine at Skelmersdale site

Mar 28 2013 by Rob Pattinson, Skelmersdale Advertiser |

Campaigners spoke of their anger and disgust after Walkers won a planning appeal for a 125m wind turbine at its West Pimbo site in Up Holland.

West Lancashire Borough Council’s planning committee rejected the scheme last March, and 714 letters of objection were lodged to the plans. But after Walkers’ parent company, Pepsico, appealed the decision, planning inspector John Braithwaite found that the harm to residents’ visual amenity caused by the turbine was outweighed by the long-term environmental benefits.

Alan Horridge, who campaigned against the plans, said: “I’m disgusted, it’s supposed to be a democracy. The planning committee voted against it, residents were against it. But now some faceless bureaucrat comes in and says something different. “There’s nothing we can do, the whole thing stinks, why do we bother to vote? Now there will be interference with televisions, noise and flicker issues. This thing is 125m tall, its the biggest thing for miles around, you will be able to see it from Blackpool.”

Simon Ely, site Leader for Walkers Skelmersdale said: “Our team in Skelmersdale has a collective ambition to be a first-class green food manufacturing site. Our 600 employees are proud to be part of the Skelmersdale community and we are committed to growing our operations here in a way that is sustainable in the long-term.

“With the turbine we will be able to generate 30% of our electricity needs without the need for fossil fuels, helping us to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.”

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