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Golf club’s wind turbine plan turned down by council

Golf club officials say they will not give up on a controversial wind turbine plan after councillors turned it down.

Whitefield Golf Club asked Bury Council for permission to put up a 45-metre high turbine on green belt land, off Higher Lane.

The aim behind the project was for it to raise enough money to keep the club running, with 10 per cent set aside for good causes and the development of small businesses.

The club held several meetings with neighbours during the planning process to give details of the proposal and some supported it, though 68 people signed petitions opposing the idea and 16 others formally objected by writing letters.

Objectors claimed the turbine would make so much noise it would stop them sleeping and that the skyline would “dramatically change for the worse.”

Alexander Eadie, of Cotton Fields, Manchester, said: “As a keen cyclist I visit the area for amazing rides as well as bringing my family to use the incredible park facilities.

“I do not understand why anyone would put up such a hideous structure – a second hand one at that.

“After spending so many voluntary hours and vast amount of money developing the area to outstanding beauty, I do not understand how the council will allow this to happen let alone the local residents.”

Nicola Harris, of Eton Fold Chase, Bury, added: “There is a wildlife conservation issue.

“There are roe deer in the woodlands of Philips Park, a wide variety of birds and bats, great-created newts and natterjack toads. Nobody should want our wildlife to disappear.”

Bury planning committee rejected the application at a town hall meeting last week.

A report written by Bury Council planning officer Jennie Townsend referenced a statement made by the Government’s Communities Secretary Greg Clark on June 18 which said: “Local planning authorities should only grant planning permission if the development site is an area identified as suitable for wind energy development in a local or neighbourhood plan.”

As that was not the case, the application was recommended for refusal.

After the meeting, golf club’s captain Gordon Desser said: “We are very disappointed with the decision as we thought that we had presented a range of reports that dealt with every concern.

“The wind energy industry plans to challenge the statement and, once that has been successful, we intend to re-table our plan.”