RESIDENTS must say how they will spend a ‘use it or lose it’ £1.5m grant if a controversial wind farm is approved.

Peel Energy’s controversial plans to build 20 giant wind turbines on Frodsham Marshes have divided villagers across Frodsham, Helsby, Alvanley, Elton, Dunham-on-the-Hill, Hapsford and Ince.

With Peel Energy pledging between £1.5 and £2.25m if plans are permitted, Frodsham’s mayor is urging residents to set their feelings aside or lose out.

Despite being against the wind farm, Cllr Andrew Dawson has warned residents that if they do not say what community projects they need, the money could be wasted on “unnecessary” projects.

Cllr Dawson said that villagers living within the 4km radius of the proposed wind farm should decide on a large scale project community which would benefit everyone.

Some of his of ideas on how to spend the lump sum include:

A swimming pool

A cycle path

Work experience schemes

A new bus service

Cllr Dawson admitted that the money was not enough compared with the devastation the turbines would cause, saying: “We have to have made these decisions if they get permission to build the turbines.

“We just need people to say what they want it spent on, a large scale community project that makes a big impact would be better than trying to divide the money between everyone.

“The obvious place to put such a thing would be Helsby High School as most people in the area have children who go there, obviously there would have to be conditions that the community could also use it.”

But Cllr Dawson warned that the fund is not a legal or planning requirement, saying : “If we do not sit down and talk about this we may get nothing at all.”

Councillors are urging all residents to attend a series of meetings to say what they would like Peel’s proposed community benefit fund to be spent on.

The meetings, which are not an opportunity to debate the planning application, will be held on:

Monday June 13 at Frodsham Parish Hall between 5-8pm.

Wednesday June 15 at Helsby Community Sports Hall between 5-8pm.

Thursday June 16 at Elton Community Sports Centre between 5-8pm.