Wind turbine plan rejected as harassment claims made

Action group: 'Protect Little Hoole'
Action group: 'Protect Little Hoole'

Developers have been accused of ‘harassing’ residents by submitting repeated applications for wind turbines in South Ribble.

Plans for four turbines, which would be seen from Midge Hall in Leyland, were turned down by the borough council’s planning committee last week.

Members said it was unfair for residents to keep having to fight plans for Chestnut House Farm in Wham Lane, Little Hoole, after they were first lodged last year and then withdrawn.

A tota of 275 people objected to the scheme, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), BAE Systems and Blackpool Airport also opposed the plans because of worries the turbines, which are up to 150ft tall, could interfere with their aviation radar.

The committee had previously knocked back an application for a single turbine to provide renewable energy at the farm, which has now gone to appeal.

Two other turbine applications are also set to be determined by an independent planning inspector after being rejected by South Ribble’s committee, relating to plans in Whitestake and Penwortham.

Planning committee member Matthew Tomlinson said: “I have so much sympathy with residents who have to keep coming back to raise the same objections.

“The way I see it, as long as the MoD is opposed, I can’t see how we can possibly approve the plans, as a responsible committee.”

Coun Paul Foster said: “I am not opposed to turbines, but I have great sympathy with residents – this is bordering on harassment. How much longer can we accept these applications?”

Planning manager Helen Hockenhull responded: “The planning officers do have a right to refuse to deal with repeat plans, but often the developers make slight changes, and we have to deal with each one as a new application.”

Councillor for the Midge Hall area, Michael Green, said the turbines would affect residents in Leyland.

He added: “I don’t feel the economic benefits of wind turbines outweigh the loss of amenity to residents in this case.”

All members of the committee voted against the plans.