Dec 6 2012 by John Siddle, Ormskirk Advertiser
PLANS to build a 25m tall wind turbine in Aughton were today set to be rejected after dozens of residents complained.
Applicant Neil Rothwell wanted to install the turbine on his land at Fir Tree Farm, off Fir Tree Lane, to combat rising energy costs.
But his application is set to be thrown out at a planning committee today (Thursday) after growing anger from residents.
Environmental health officers believed noise from the turbine could infringe on residents’ quality of life.
In the application submitted to West Lancs council, agents acting for Mr Rothwell said the turbine was wanted to generate electricity using the “locally abundant winds”.
The agents state: “The applicant has occupied and owned the property for a number of years, and due to the recession and rising costs the family are looking for more financially viable ways to sustain the property and its surrounding areas, and are therefore looking to diversify and achieve long term stability.
“The family are also concerned about the on-going rise in cost for energy.
The applicant wishes to use the locally abundant winds to generate electricity for domestic and agricultural use and in doing so assist in meeting the regional and national targets for increasing the proportion of energy from renewable sources.”
Mr Rothwell said the turbine would benefit the community by making the local environment “greener”.
But 41 objections were received ahead of today’s meeting, with many neighbours objecting to the turbine being installed on Green Belt land.
One objector said: “This site is situated on an area of Green Belt land in an area of outstanding beauty that is enjoyed not only by the resident, but also by the many visitors who enjoy dog walking, fishing, hiking, boating, flying, jogging and horse riding.”
Worried residents feared that granting permission for the turbine – which would have 19m diameter blades – could lead to a precedent.
The council has turned down a number of similar applications in the past.
Aughton parish council opposed the scheme on the grounds that it was “grossly intrusive”, had an “adverse impact on the openness of the Green Belt” and for “noise nuisance and loss of residential amenity to adjacent properties”.
West Lancs council was set to refuse the application over fears that the turbine could “potentially present a hazard to the safe operation of aircraft”.
It was feared that the turbine could interfere with radar detection systems.
Plans to demolish a industrial unit in Burscough to make way for homes were also set to be rebuffed.
Universal Bulk Handling in Orrell Lane applied to demolish an existing building to build up to 30 homes in a cul-de-sac.
Councillors were recommended to refuse the application because of fears that would-be residents’ quality of life would be harmed by the location of nearby commercial premises.