Opposition against plans for a 40-metre high turbine in rural Lancashire is mounting.
The Ministry of Defence and Bowland Forest Gliding Club are among those who have added their weight to oppose the proposals for a wind turbine, 39.65m high from the blade to the tip, on land at Handlesteads Farm on Collins Hill Lane, Chipping.
A group of residents has also formed an action group to fight the application and a former north west tourism officer has warned the turbine would “desecrate the Bowland Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”
Ribble Valley Council has also confirmed it will not be making any decision on the controversial application until at least November 7, so people wishing to comment have until then to do so.
Simon Hulme, a Chipping resident, confirmed around 20 people had now come together to form an action group.
He said: “We want to ensure everyone is fully communicated in the current status of the proposals and to ensure we have a forum of people to share guidance on the best way to submit objections. It is clear many local residents and other concerned people were completely unaware of the plan.
“They are appreciative of our efforts to ensure people know the facts, and are astonished a plan for such a large turbine could even be considered in such a sensitive area.”
He says he and his wife Sarah have also been in contact with organisations including the RSPB, Lancashire County Council, the Campaign For Protection Of Rural England (CPRE) and other environmentally concerned entities.
“Many are expressing concern about the location and size of this proposal, and are composing responses,” he said.
But planning agent Julia Pye says her client Anthony Rogerson had carefully considered wind energy prior to applying for the turbine.
“This turbine is a significant investment on Mr Rogerson’s part in terms of monetary value and commitment to providing electricity from a sustainable source and is not purely for financial gain. This turbine will be sited against the back drop of an established mature tree line which will help to screen the turbine from the south without causing any detrimental impact to the trees nor to the turbine as the turbine has to be sited 50m away from trees to make full use of the prevailing winds.
“It should also be noted the turbine will be grey in colour and not white, which will also help to reduce its impact.” on the surrounding area.”
“Farmers are under increasing pressure not only to be sustainable, but also cost efficient. The turbine will ensure he goes a long way in reducing his overheads on the farm and will be able to take all his electricity from the turbine to run his farm and house but also allow him extra income on the farm as part of a diversification project.
“Without farmers in the countryside and especially in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the scenery would be increasingly different. Without the input from the farming community we would not have an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
“The turbine will not only help Mr Rogerson’s utility outlay but will help him to offset his carbon footprint which will go some way towards the government targets for the reduction in carbon emissions whilst providing him with a modest income to invest back into the farm.
“Mr Rogerson is aware of the objections raised by both NATS and the MoD and we are working on documentary evidence to counteract these objections in the hopes that they will be withdrawn in the future.