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Wind farm fears  

Credit:  by Ollie Cowan champnews.com ~~

Residents in Formby and Ince Blundell say they are outraged after discovering nearby farmland has been earmarked by Sefton Council as a potential site to build huge wind farms.

If plans were put forward, turbines as large as Blackpool Tower could line the stretch of road between the New Causeway and Lady Green garden centre

Eagle eyed residents looking through the draft local plan found within the Climate Change and Carbon Reduction section a study to find appropriate locations for a ‘large scale grid-connected renewable energy infrastructure’ which would be a wind farm.

The best location identified was the farmland between Formby and Ince Bludnell – best known for being the home of the West Lancashire Microlight school and airstrip.

This is a second potential blow to people living in the area, as it was revealed in April that energy companies are looking to build an identical wind farm a few hundred feet away on the other side of the River Alt.

However energy companies have confirmed they are looking to submit a planning application for the West Lancashire site, whilst there are no such plans in place yet for Sefton.

Despite this, residents still say they are devastated at this latest discovery.

Richard Thornborough, Owner of West Lancashire Microlight School, finds his business right in the middle of the earmarked site.

“It’s just another massive blow. We’ve objected to the West Lancashire proposals on a number of safety grounds and local residents are up in arms about it.

”It’s now come to light that Sefton are looking at this side of the River Alt. If that ever got the green light we’d be finished.

“In fact if proposals on the other side of the Alt were given the go ahead then there would be serious issues to deal with anyway.

”We’ve leased this land for 20 years so we are a long established business.

“I was alerted by the village action committee. Wind turbines are just a huge blot on the landscape and the impact they have on the area is horrendous.”

One resident who discovered the study results said: “The draft local plan has a number of chapters. Chapter 10 is entitled Climate Change and Carbon Reduction.

Chapter 10 is sub divided into a number of what I think are called strategic policies. Strategic Policy CC3 is entitled Energy and carbon reduction.

”Strategic Policy CC3 is sub divided into a number of sections. Section 5 is entitled Low carbon, renewable and decentralised energy infrastructure.

“Astonishingly, Section 5 includes that the unequivocal statement that the area of search for wind energy is Ince Blundell.

”What makes it worse is that the associated Explanation specifically acknowledges the West Lancashire proposal to which we are vehemently opposed and to which we had been told that Sefton was also opposed.“

A spokesman for Sefton Council said: ”Part of the Local Plan mentions that an area near Ince Blundell was identified in a 2011 study as having some potential for onshore wind energy. This study covered all of Merseyside and West Lancashire.

“However, the study did not identify ‘preferred areas’ for wind farms and was not intended to cover the detailed planning issues that might come up if an application was ever received.

”If a proposal did come forward, planning considerations would include impact on local residents, potential noise or light pollution, the affect on the character of the landscape and flood risk issues.

“In addition, it would need to demonstrate that the wider benefits of the development outweigh the potential harm to the green belt.

”In short, although Ince Blundell is mentioned, this is not a planning application and a full assessment of the area’s suitability has not taken place.

“As with any aspect of the Local Plan, we would encourage people to give us their views and they will all be considered as part of the public consultation which closes on September 27.”

Source:  by Ollie Cowan champnews.com

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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