UK - Wind farm in Cheshire generates questions

Three turbines being considered set to power 1,600 homes

An application for a wind farm at a Cheshire farm is expected to go before planners this summer. Impact surveys into the three turbines being considered for Oxheys Farm at Rushton near Tarporley set to power 1,600 homes are being conducted. The company insists the turbines, each about the height of Nelson's Column, would make less noise than a family car while saving on emissions of about 6,000 tonnes of CO² per year. The energy group has undertaken a number of public presentations and question and answer sessions with neighbours living closest to the site and representatives of nine local parish councils.

Joanna Thompson, npower renewables' project manager for the Oxheys Farm proposal, said the company was working hard to provide residents with as much information as possible to ease concerns about the £3m project. She said: 'We are very pleased that local people have taken an interest in the plans and our discussions with them have provided valuable feedback, enabling us to address some of the misinformation which is often publicised about wind turbines.'

Commenting on the application, which would be put before Vale Royal borough planners, she said: 'certainly the application will be no earlier than June or July. We have to wait for a number of impact surveys to be completed.' She also invited those with concerns about the proposals to be taken to a wind farm of five turbines at Lambrigg near Kendal to view a similar scheme in action. According to the British Wind Energy Association a survey carried out among people living near to the five 43-metre wind turbines on the outskirts of Lambrigg showed an unequivocal high level of support for the wind farm. However, local campaigners including Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien remain sceptical. The Tory MP said: 'A large number of people have written to me opposing the plans and I felt it was important to view the site myself, study the proposals in detail and discuss the potential impact with the applicants. 'On reflection, I do not feel this application considers the economics, costs and risks of connecting to the National Grid and the impact on landscape, environment, property prices and residential amenity.'

Applicant Phil Hodgson, 36, who works on the farm for his father Wilfred, said that being priced out of the milk market by superstore chains meant they had to diversify in order to survive. He said: 'Residents have raised their concerns with me and I am happy to talk with them about it. There is a fear that it will be noisy - the noise impacts will apply to relevant guidelines issued by the government. The other fear is that wind farms will be strewn all over Cheshire which isn't the case; there is a strict planning protocol.'
Online editorial, www.windfair.net
Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist
UK, Britain, wind energy, wind power, wind turbine, wind farm, renewable energy, offshore, onshore, rotor blade

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