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Eco-park neighbours in row over turbine noise  

Credit:  Wigan Today | 25 March 2014 | www.wigantoday.net ~~

Controversial plans for a 30m high wind turbine have been blown away as developers have withdrawn an application.

The turbine – that was set to be built on Gathurst Hall Farm in Shevington – had sparked safety concerns due its location near to the M6 motorway.

Mike Worden, assistant director of planning and transport at Wigan Council, said: “In light of the advice given by planning officers and the responses from consultees, the applicant has decided to withdraw the application.”

Shevington with Lower Ground representative Coun Mike Crosby said opposition to the proposal was due to the turbine’s location rather than a criticism of renewable energy.

He said: “We had around 100 objections to this application and it was obvious that many people had very strong opinions on it. The decision to withdraw the application was the sensible option.

“The applicant obviously didn’t consider the impact of the turbine on the local wildlife.”

Residents had formed a campaign group, Shevington Turbine Opposition Party (STOP), encouraging homeowners to contact the council with their concerns.

The group cited noise pollution, their homes losing value because of the “eyesore” and environmental effects on wildlife as reasons for their opposition.

Planning officers had extended a public consultation period for the proposal following accusations that some residents had not been informed.

The plans were submitted by Scottish company Urban Wind Limited, their documents described designs for a “single small-scale wind turbine and associated infrastructure.”

But a Highways Agency report that said the planned location of the 34m structure did not comply with safety guidelines. It read: “As the turbine measures 34 metres in height, the agency would require a minimum of 51 metres as a setback distance from the highway boundary in order to meet our standards.

“Looking at the current application, it seems the wind turbine is to be positioned approximately 30 metres from the highway boundary, which is not an acceptable setback distance for the agency.

“As a result the agency cannot raise no objections to the application.”

Source:  Wigan Today | 25 March 2014 | www.wigantoday.net

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