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West Lancs residents ready to fight Lower Alt Wind Farm plans

Residents are determined to fight controversial plans to build a giant wind farm between Lydiate, Formby and Ince Blundell.

Ian Cowell, the clerk to Ince Blundell Parish Council, told Visiter.co.uk that both the parish council and residents were ‘utterly opposed to the plans.’

Coriolis Energy, the company behind the development, has recently held a series of consultations across west Lancashire.

M Cowell said: “My principal opposition to this above scoping report is the lack of transparency of the whole project. Sefton Council received a consultation request regarding the proposed development on 3rd October 2012 and raised a number of serious issues that it felt had not been properly addressed or considered in the scoping report. Moreover, it was only through the good offices of a number of consultees, notably English Heritage, that Sefton became aware a meeting had been held on 4th December 2012 to discuss the project. Sefton Council was not invited to this meeting nor were they made aware of it by West Lancashire District Council. West Lancashire Council has subsequently apologised for this omission. None the less it seems strange that a neighbouring authority was not invited to the meeting especially when the development would have a significant impact on residents who dwell in Sefton.

“The proposed wind farm will be sited in the Withens area of Great Altcar and, owing to the flat, low lying and sparsely populated landscape with few vertical features will have a direct visual impact on Ince Blundell, Hightown, Little Altcar, Formby, Lydiate and Sefton Village. Highway access to the site will be via the Formby by pass (A565) and later the Thornton/Switch Island link. The wind farm will be in the flight path of Woodvale Aerodrome, Ince Blundell Microlight Strip and, not mentioned in the scoping report, the Tri-Service Helicopter Landing Pad at Altcar Rifle Range. In addition Sefton has a number of heritage assets within 10km of the wind farm, notably, Ince Blundell Hall and Park, Sefton Church and approximately another 430 listed buildings and scheduled monuments. The potential impact of the proposed wind farm upon the historic character of the landscape cannot be be ignored. Nor can Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest or the Alt Estuaries Special Protection Areas or Ramsar Sites be ignored. The Pink-footed Geese which are such feature of our area and have feeding grounds in Great Altcar could risk collision with the wind farm. Moreover, the location of the proposed site is close to the River Alt and is within the higher risk flood zones

“Finally, the scoping report makes no reference to the impact on Sefton which appears to be a significant or intended oversight. Sefton Council has made a number of robust observations which need to be taken into account. It is to be hoped that the West Lancashire District Planning Committee will take these factors into account together with the views of the people of Sefton.”

Fore more information go to www.loweraltwindfarm.co.uk