PARISH council bosses hope consultants will support their protest against four giant wind turbines.

Vale Royal Borough Council is paying £60,000 to commission consultants to help decide whether to erect the turbines at the northern end of the Weaver Valley at Aston, which protesters claim will be visible from Kingsley, Crowton, Acton Bridge and areas up to 20 kilometres away, including Northwich.

As reported last month, Tegni Cymru has applied to Vale Royal's planning committee to erect the 410ft (135m) high turbines.

Cllr Steve Pardoe, vice-chairman of Acton Bridge Parish Council, said villagers were strongly opposed to the proposals, since the site would be highly visible - and probably audible - from Acton Bridge.

Cllr Pardoe, who was part of the Substation Action Group (SAG) which helped defeat the application for a substation between Acton Bridge and Weaverham earlier this year, said: 'The council decided to go out to external consultation to advise them on the process of evaluating wind energy site applications.

'The impact this will have on Acton Bridge and parts of the county which can see the skyline will be dramatic. It flies in the face of efforts to promote tourism - there are at least two livery stables, several B&Bs, and the narrow boat operation in Bartington which could be affected.'

Consultants will produce guidance documents for the planning committee in the run up to the decision, which is expected before Christmas. Meanwhile, council bosses also decided to consult with Manchester and Liverpool airports on the issue of air safety in respect of the landing and takeoff routes.

Campaign information is available at