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Blowing in the wind  

Credit:  Lancashire Evening Press | 2 April 2013 | www.lep.co.uk ~~

In the last 12 months three applications have been thrown out for wind turbines in South Ribble.

Last week, a bid was put forward to build a 15m high turbine on farmland in Moss Side.

Town bosses say every application needs to be judged on its own merits, based on the size and scale of the turbine and the effect on the surrounding countryside.

There are already three turbines in South Ribble.

Protestors say they fear other people may be biding their time before they too ask for turbines, and supporters say wind power is the only practical, safe, and clean way to reduce carbon emissions in the area.

Cathy Roper, of the Protect Little Hoole Group, says she does not subscribe to the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) attitude. She can already see one from her home, on Gill Lane, where she has lived for 33 years.

Cathy said: “Nearly two years ago we had a leaflet come from South Ribble Council to say there were wind turbine plans in the area. I thought OK, let’s have a look.

“When I did a little bit of research I realised that the turbines couldn’t work without power stations backing them up 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

“That creates more C02 than what they would working on capacity. I thought this just doesn’t make sense.

“My main problem is the inefficiency of them, and that this is a greenbelt area.

“We don’t have a lot of green belt in this country, just 13 per cent of land, so what we do have shouldn’t be violated. We all need space to breathe.”

A planning guide for renewable and low carbon energy in the borough, published recently, said the ‘potential for large scale developments is compromised in South Ribble because of the limitation of wind speeds and proximity to settlements’.

Cathy said: “The newest application is just 100m from the nearest house.

“What we have is the potential for seven wind turbines in a very small area. And we know there are other farmers waiting to put in their applications. It is just too much. Turbines will never give a solution for renewable energy.”

Supporters say the only way to reduce household fuel bills is to get a grip on renewable energy so we are not at the mercy of fossil fuels.

And that is the motivation for a number of applications in South Ribble, where farmers want to reduce their bills and ensure they can continue. Earlier this month the council threw out plans for four turbines on land at Chestnut House Farm, Little Hoole.

They had previously knocked back an application for a single turbine to provide renewable energy at the farm, which is now going to an appeal.

Some 275 people objected, saying it was too close to their homes and would cause disturbance through noise and flickering. The Ministry of Defence and Blackpool Airport also objected.

South Ribble MP Lorraine Fulbrook also voiced her objections to the plans, and signing an open letter to the Prime Minister urging a reduction in the amount of subsidy given to onshore wind power.

Last year they rejected plans for a turbine in Parker Lane, Whitestake, saying it was inappropriate development in the green belt. 436 letters of objection were received. Salad grower Paul Coxhead said he wanted the turbine to help generate power during the winter months.

At the time, he said he spent £50,000 a year on electricity to run 16 acres of greenhouses growing salads, including 130 heaters. They also rejected a 60ft turbine at Flag Lane in Penwortham.

The decisions were appealed and the three applications will now be considered by government planning inspectors.

Coun Michael Green, who represents Moss Side at South Ribble Council, said: “We can expect more applications coming forward. We have to make sure it is positive for the local community and the impact isn’t too great.

“There can be environmental benefits, which I would welcome. It’s not black and white but there are significant concerns.”

Source:  Lancashire Evening Press | 2 April 2013 | www.lep.co.uk

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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