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'Wind turbine will defile court countryside'

Concerns aired over Cheshire farmer's plan for 160ft-high wind device to power farm

Residents fear a farmer’s vision for a 160ft-high wind turbine would be a ‘blight on the landscape’ in one of the most beautiful parts of Cheshire.

Robert Latham has lodged plans for the turbine at Ridley Bank Farm, near Tarporley, to supply his business with electricity and sell any surplus to the grid.

The turbine would be visible from Cholmondeley Castle, Bulkeley, Bunbury and Haughton but the applicant insists the impact would be minimal due to screening by existing woods.

Cheshire East Council has been bombarded with objections from residents.

Concerns include fears about the impact on views in an area popular with tourists, harm to bats and birds, the distraction posed to motorists on the A49 and A534 and the potential noise.

Andrew Higgins, of Bridge Farm Barn, Wrexham Road, Ridley, said: “The proposed turbine will constitute a monumental blight on the local landscape.

“I use the Sandstone Hills adjacent to my property on an almost daily basis and the turbine will dominate the landscape and will defile one of the most stunning aspects in all of Cheshire.”

Tory MP for Eddisbury Stephen O’Brien told The Chronicle: “I’m against all wind turbines –  they are useless ecologically, they don’t make any contribution. It is simply not sustainable.”

Bulkeley and Ridley Parish Council chairman Idina Hastings said: “This is an area of ‘Special Scenic Value’. On the proposed site, the turbine will be visible from the Bickerton and Bulkeley Hills which are well used by the public for walking, both locally and on the Sandstone Trail.”

Organic farmer Mr Latham began looking at wind energy after a council report identified his farm as one of only a few suitable locations.

He told The Chronicle: “After a feasibility study covering different sites on the farm and different sized turbines we identified this site  as the perfect site being away from neighbouring  properties, hidden by woodland but with a  good wind speed.

“The turbine we chose at 49 metres to wing tip, classified as small by Cheshire East was, we felt, in proportion to the landscape.”

He added: “I appreciate that not all people see wind turbines as the  graceful, majestic structures  that I do, but I think that if we are to protect the environment  for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren then being able to see one in the distance is a small price to pay.”

 

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