FRODSHAM Town Council has joined residents fighting Peel Energy’s plans for a giant £50m wind farm.
Councillors have come out in opposition to developer Peel’s plans to erect 13 giant wind turbines in Helsby and another seven at the Frodsham end of the Green Belt marshes.
The town council voted against the plan following a massive show of opposition from more than 250 residents, including members of campaign group Residents Against the Windfarm (RAW).
Peel claims the company-owned site could support the proposed second largest onshore wind farm in the country and produce enough electricity to meet the average needs of 28,000 households – more than one-fifth of homes in Cheshire West and Chester.
Mayor Geoff Bath said: “We have received lots of letters and emails from residents, both for and against the wind farm, and I, personally, have found it very difficult coming to a decision.”
However, he joined councillors John Maddock, Tony Hinkins, Kyle McGregor, Andrew Dawson, Rita Shearn and Alan Greggs in a majority vote in favour of Cllr Graham Bondi’s proposal that the town council should object to the scheme on ‘good planning grounds’ in that it would ‘have an adverse impact on the openness of the Green Belt’.
Cllr Bondi said: “We know the application for a wind farm at Aston Grange went to appeal and was thrown out by a Government inspector almost entirely on the Green Belt issue.”
The council will follow up its initial objection with a further submission listing other concerns about the scheme, including the impact the development might have on radar and aircraft safety at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Councillors Dennis and Pammi Taylor and Frank Pennington voted against Cllr Bondi’s proposal.
Cllr Pammi Taylor said: “If we had preserved the Green Belt right from the start the population of Frodsham would be less than 50% what it is now. Many new houses have been built on farmland.”
He admitted Peel’s proposal had ‘some merits’ but the application – submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change – ought to go to public inquiry for ‘an open debate and a more meaningful and objective decision’.
The town council will submit its objection to the DECC and hopes Cheshire West and Chester Council will also reject the scheme, effectively forcing a public inquiry.