Villagers are furious that shelved plans to erect a 35m wind turbine on their doorstep have been resurrected.
Residents in Malpas and Nomansheath breathed a sigh of relief late last year after proposals to erect the turbine at Ebnal Grange, Ebnal Lane, were rejected by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
But months later, the plans, put forward by landowners Captain Timothy Ritson and his wife, in conjunction with Fine Energy, have now been resubmitted after including more information with the application.
Fiona Dudley, whose home in Cross O’ Th’ Hill, would be a few hundred metres away from the turbine if it were to go ahead, has been a staunch protestor since first hearing of the plans.
She is in the process of setting up an Action Group to oppose the plans, and told The Chronicle of her many concerns.
“I’ve been involved with a group of neighbours since the last time these plans were put forward, and we are working to try and ensure we all do what we can to fight this application,” she said.
“We’re very upset about the plans for a number of reasons; many of the houses along my road would be within 500m of the turbine, and the nearest house would be just 277m away from it,” she said.
“We’ve read reports about noise produced from turbines and we’re concerned we won’t be able to sleep at night due to constant noise. I know of one lady who lives in another part of the UK that can’t sell her house because there’s a wind turbine nearby and she’s becoming desperate to escape the infuriating noise which is affecting her health.
“As well as this, our lovely countryside views are under threat, not to mention house values for all properties in Malpas and surrounding areas.
“But CWaC Planners don’t take falls in property values into consideration when deciding whether to grant permission or not,” she added.
The proposals have sparked anger amongst Malpas and Nomansheath residents and Fiona and her neighbours have been gathering local support in their fight against the turbine.
“We haven’t formed an official group yet because time is not on our side as CWaC want responses by April 2nd,” she explained.
“Right now we’ve prioritised getting objection letters signed and encourage people against this application to write to CWaC and to Eddisbury MP Stephen O’Brien, who’s been a big support to us.
“As he said, if this is given permission, there would be a tsunami of others applications following it.”
“I understand the country needs energy but the countryside should be protected and these renewable energy projects going ahead would simply ruin the landscape character of our village.
“We’ve asked many local people to sign objection letters and around 95% of people we have asked don’t want the turbine.”
Fiona added: “I’m keen to get the message to people that we’re setting up a ‘fighting fund’ to pay for professional advice so we can fight the application effectively and efficiently.”
“We’ve liaised with the Stop Bickerton Turbines Group who have given us some helpful advice, and I’m planning to set up a website very soon.”
“We’re going to fight this to the very end – we defeated the application last time and will do everything in our power to do it again.”
In a statement, Mr O’Brien said:
“The people of Malpas and the surrounding areas can count on my 110% support in objecting to this revived application to desecrate the amenity, landscape and wellbeing of my constituents.”
“This turbine is cynically described as medium scale in the application. It has already failed once and this attempt to revive for the personal gain of the applicant and wind turbine constructor demonstrates no community feeling or shared benefit and responsibility.”
“I shall continue to join my constituents in fighting against the imposition of this unwelcome industrial machine which is only made possible through the subsidy funded on the back of tax and electricity bill payers.”
To object to the proposals, write to CWaC’s Planning Office at Wyvern House, The Drumber, Winsford, CW7 1AH referencing 14/00874/FUL Land At Ebnal Grange Ebnal Lane Malpas, or email email@example.com, citing the same reference.