RESIDENTS backing Peel Energy’s plans for a 20 turbine wind farm on Frodsham and Helsby marshes have complained they were silenced by an overwhelming number of ‘overemotional and irrational’ objectors at a public meeting.

Professor Andrew Basden, of Frodsham, a leading member of the Mersey Wind Energy Supporters group (MWES), was heckled and shouted down, and only one other resident spoke out in favour of the scheme last week’s packed meeting at Frodsham Community Centre.

MWES member David Hardman, of Elton, was unable to attend the meeting, but said: “Others in our group wanted to speak but felt intimidated by the mood of the meeting.

“It will always be a case of NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard), and there’s nothing we can do about that. But there was some rather undemocratic behaviour at the meeting which made our members feel uncomfortable.”

Mr Hardman and Professor Basden maintain objectors based their judgment on ‘exaggeration and rumour’.

They cite published studies which they claim debunk many of the arguments put forward by RAW against the proposed 412ft high wind turbines – 13 in Helsby and seven at the Frodsham end of the Green Belt marshes – and their potentially damaging impact on visual amenity, wildlife, house prices, noise and even the health of residents living closest to the wind farm.

Mr Hardman said: “Taxpayers are hardly likely to fund new methods of generating electricity to meet statutory national objectives to replace CO2 producing fossil fuels, it will be up to private sector companies, like Peel.

“Subsidies go to all forms of renewable energy and are designed to encourage investment.

“We need all the renewable energy we can get and, apart from the natural energy and environmental advantages we believe the wind farm would bring, Peel are offering to give local communities a slice of the income from the wind farm through a legally-binding Community Benefits Fund.

“But there seems to be a mindset of we will teach Peel a lesson, rather than a rational argument.”

Residents are urged to write individual letters of objection or support to The Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, DCPR Team Energy Markets Infrastructure, 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2WA, or email uk by April 12.