A PROJECT in an aspiring carbon neutral village has approval for two weather stations.
The separate applications have been made by the University of Chester on land at the rear of Ashton Hayes Vicarage on Church Road, Ashton Hayes and at Longley Lane, Kelsall on the opposite side of the village.
The 10m high slimline masts will each have a wind monitoring device and a solar sensor to collect data as a part of a research project, planning officers at Chester City Council were told.
The aim is to help assess the potential for the provision of energy from renewable sources in Ashton Hayes and to examine the extent to which this can be matched with energy demands in the village.
The masts will remain for 12 months as part of the project being conducted by the university, EA Technology and Ashton Hayes Parish Council.
Their locations have been selected to ensure there is no obstruction to wind flow or shading of sunlight according to a report.
The applications do not involved the construction or installation of any device to harness renewable energy, the city council has been told.
Planning officers have had representations as a result of the Kelsall application which argue that consultation has been insufficient and local people have not had the opportunity to properly consider the proposals.
They believe the mast there will harm the Green Belt in a “beautiful” part of Kelsall and will have an adverse effect on the skyline.
Objectors insist that any potential future wind turbine development will not be acceptable and the ambition of Ashton Hayes to become carbon neutral should not have an adverse effect on neighbouring villages.
In both applications, planning officers say the mast will be located on farmland and will not cause harm to the Green Belt or to the character of the surrounding landscape.
The equipment will enable ''important research'' into renewable energy.
Permission was recommended in both cases subject to a temporary period of 12 months.
The city's planning board agreed both applications on separate unanimous 13-0 votes without debate.