West Lancs Council Planning Committee last night rejected the planning application to erect 12 turbines on land in Great Altcar Parish between Lydiate and Ince Blundell.
The local campaign group HALT ran the successful fight against the turbines.
It may seem odd that I am supportive of the rejection of these turbines as I am very firmly a supporter of renewable energy. However, what I could not never understand about this particular application was that the turbines, their massive concrete foundations and the access roads to service them would all be on the highest grade of agricultural land in England. On that basis I could not support them and am pleased that West Lancs Council has rejected them.
This photo is from a consultation event in Lydiate before the planning application was submitted.
I doubt this will be the end of the story however as I assume that an appeal against the refusal will be made by the land owner/developer. Watch this space.
A brief report from Lydiate Parish Councillor Edie Pope who attended the meeting of West Lancashire Borough Council’s Planning Committee last night as it decided (or didn’t decided) on the application to build wind turbines between Ince Blundell and Lydiate.
Cllr. Edie Pope outside Lydiate Village Centre
* The decision to either grant or refuse the application was deferred until November.
* One councillor said it should be on low quality land not high grade agricultural. [My point all along. Ed]
* The committee saw four thousand geese arrive at gore house farm. They also said the people who were for the wind farm didn’t live around here, one councillor said it was their responsibility to maintain our farmland so put them in the Mersey.
* It was deferred because eight councillors said they needed longer to process 120 pages of information.
* Was it a party political decision? All eight sat together and seemed to be all Labour members?
* Coriolis had 10 months to submit their proposals [feels more like 10 years. Ed] they should have had everything together by now.
Coriolis Energy came to talk to Lydiate Parish Council last Tuesday about their plans to erect 12 Blackpool Tower sized wind turbines on high grade agricultural land between Lydiate and Ince Blundell.
Regular readers of this blog site will know that I have commented on this plan many times before as it has been doing the rounds for ages.
Originally 24 turbines, the site is actually in West Lancashire not in Sefton. I am opposed to the plan because the turbines and the access roads to them are to be built on the highest grade of agricultural land. Put simply this is a draft place to site them in my view even though I am in no way an opponent of wind power, quite the opposite actually.
The discussion at the Parish Council meeting was of limited benefit as frankly the Coriolis representatives did not seem to me to be that well informed. Vague/general answers to questions posed seemed to be the order of the day. We did learn however that West Lancs Borough Council would be likely to decide on the planning application before them in the autumn or winter of 2016. (However, two days later when I ran across one of the lead campaigners against the turbines I was told that the application would probably be discussed at a West Lancs Planning Committee meeting to be held on 28th July.)
We touched on bird migration (Pink Footed Geese in particular) and the objections of the RSPB and the Wetlands Trust, although I am coming to the view that the effect of the turbines on bird migration may well not be a significant issue. I realise I am expressing a view here that others may disagree with.
The blade tips will be 136.5 meters high and one generating turbine (i.e. when the wind is blowing) will supply power to 2,000 houses, so Coriolis say.
There was an interesting discussion raised by my old friend Cllr. Edie Pope who asked the Coriolis representatives how they would take into account underground fires caused by the land being a drained peat moss. Underground fires are not unusual in this area. I don’t think Edie got an answer she was satisfied with.
We were told that the background noise would only be 5db above the prevailing background noise when the turbines were operating and that an increase of 10db would be required for the human ear to register the increase.
Obviously I am no expert so can’t really comment on some of the technical assumptions and statements made about them but at the end of the day it is still the highest grade of agricultural land that is going to be built on so my view remains ‘no’ to the turbines on this site.
A Public meeting will be held at Ince Blundell Village Hall on Monday 4th January 2016 at 20.00hrs in relation to the recent planning application for wind turbines in the Lower Alt area by Coriolis.
I have not touched on this controversial subject for a while now as little has been happening. However, wheels are in motion and my understanding is that a planning application is now before West Lancashire Borough Council, although not all the required paperwork had been filed as typed this posting by Coriolis Energy (the applicants).
The land in question whilst being in West Lancs is actually sandwiched between Ince Blundell and Lydiate both of which are in Sefton Borough.
The environmental pressure group HALT continues to lead the opposition to the proposed wind farm of 12 taller than Blackpool Tower turbines. It was originally for 24 turbines in the previous proposals which were withdrawn.
My view on this proposal has always been that the land is high grade agricultural land so to compromise any of it for other uses is simply not acceptable. I am not opposed to wind turbines and certainly do not subscribe to what seems to be the Daily Mail view that they are all evil or some such nonsense. Indeed, I often go walking in the hills of Lancashire and I find the turbines on the moors to be quite majestic; but not on high grade agricultural land!
Here’s a link to HALT:-
And a reminder of the position that Lydiate Parish Council has adopted under both Lib Dem and Labour administrations:-
Readers will recall that this is a subject I have commented on numerous times before.
My last posting is available via the link below:-
To recap, Coriolis Energy submitted a proposal for a wind farm at Lower Alt a couple of years ago (to the west of Lydiate and east of Ince Blundell on land in West Lancashire) but subsequently it fizzled out. At the time, Lydiate Parish Council, Ince Blundell PC and many other groups and residents objected to the proposal.
This is what Lydiate PC submitted to West Lancs Council in response to the original proposal:-
Lydiate Parish Council, having taken account of local concerns and the recent public exhibition held in the Parish, wish to raise the following concerns and objections to the plan that is presently before West Lancs Borough Council.
• We have significant ecological concerns regarding the location of the proposed development. They relate to negative potential impacts on bird species and designated breeding sites within Sefton and within West Lancashire.
• In our view the plans do not consider the effects of the proposals on the agricultural land. There is a high proportion of ‘Best and Most Versatile’ agricultural land in the area and its potential loss is a significant concern.
• The area in which the development is proposed is low lying and thinly populated. The landscape has wide open views. The local character of the landscape will be hugely and negatively impacted on by this proposal.
• Noise generated by the proposed development is a significant concern.
• Shadow Flicker – again a significant concern of Lydiate residents.
As I suggested in my last posting Coriolis are now looking at their proposal again and they have booked the Lydiate Village Centre to hold a public consultation session on Wednesday 5 August 2015 (2pm to 4pm).