CONSERVATIVE party leader Michael Howard will today announce plans that could stop proposals to build a wind farm in Liverpool Bay.

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He is expected to pledge to put a halt to the Government's policy to increase the number of turbines across the country if the party wins the next general election.

He wants to move away from the controversial turbines that have been springing up inland and offshore and concentrate on other, less obtrusive, forms of power.

The policy will focus on changing the planning laws that allow the Government to step in and overrule local councils which refuse to give permission for new sites. The Government is trying to make it easier to build them in its bid to increase the number of sites across the country.

But the Tories have still committed themselves to meeting the Government's target of producing 10% of power from renewable sources by 2010.

Shadow environment secretary Tim Yeo said: "We share many of the concerns over the way the Government's renewable energy policy seems to be skewed very heavily in favour of wind farms."

Since the Daily Post revealed plans by NPower Renewables to build the 80-square mile site off West Kirby, residents, councillors and national campaigners, including naturalist Prof David Bellamy, have called for it to be stopped.

They fear the 200-turbine plant will destroy wildlife as well as spoiling the stunning views enjoyed by thousands of visitors to West Kirby's beach.

They also claim wind power is inefficient and needs a constant back-up supply.

The site would generate electricity for more than 600,000 homes. But residents are also worried there may be a repeat of the problems created by the North Hoyle wind farm, which was more visible than had been promised.

Esther McVey, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for Wirral West, said: "The benefits have got to outweigh the problems. With wind farms there are some immediate issues such as the impact on residents, shipping safety and birdlife.

"We have to look at other environmentally friendly ways of producing power.

"It should be a priority to look after the environment. We are only tenants and we should preserve it the best we can for future generations.

"But wind power is not the best way forward.

"The one planned off West Kirby is massive and will have huge impact. I think we should be focusing on solar power instead."