The mother of an autistic girl has told of her outrage at plans to erect a 77m wind turbine on land at Helsby railway sidings.
Clean Power Properties’ application for the 500kW turbine was called before the Cheshire West and Chester Planning Committee by Helsby ward borough councillor Les Ford last week.
Experts claim that the noise and flickering of wind turbines’ rotating blades can cause distress to people with autism.
Michelle Atkinson, whose eight-year-old daughter Josie has autism, is ‘disgusted at the lack of thought and consideration for the local community’.
She said: “My daughter is particularly aware of sounds. She can hear things that I don’t. The level of noise that wind turbines create would be something that she would pick up on.
“They have not considered the local community and it seems to be very ill thought out. The impact would be vast.”
Jo Garner, managing director of Helsby-based charity ChAPS, which supports parents and families affected by Asperger’s and autistic spectrum disorders, said: “ChAPS strongly objects to the proposal of a wind turbine in Helsby, as people with an autism spectrum condition have sensory sensitivity and sensory disorders, which would be exacerbated by this proposal.
“Wind turbines have a spinning element which produces a change in light as they spin around, they create a certain frequency of noise and also create vibrations. The vibration of a wind turbine can over-stimulate the vestibular sensory system which is linked to the inner ear, and can be extremely uncomfortable for a person who has over-sensitivity in this area.”
Jo gave evidence at the public inquiry into Peel Energy’s proposal, which was granted, to erect a 19-turbine wind farm on Frodsham Marshes.
In 2010, an application for a wind farm in North Lincolnshire was rejected by the Planning Inspectorate because of the effect it would have had on twin boys with autistic spectrum disorders who lived nearby.
A public consultation meeting held by Helsby Parish Council on Saturday was attended by more than 130 local residents, all of whom objected to the application.
For more information about the work of ChAPS, visit www.asparents.org.uk or ring 0844 850 8607.
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