Turbine battle looms

A MAJOR legal challenge is to be launched in an effort to overturn Government approval for two more giant wind turbines, in the countryside near Garstang,.

Plans for the £5 million turbines at Eagland Hill have seen the same strength of opposition as the now completed Dewlay turbine, near Garstang saw.

Opponents are refusing to accept the appeal decision to grant permission for the 80m high turbines (125m at top blade height) between Pilling and Garstang.

Eagland Hill Action Group (EHAG) announced this week it was to seek a judicial review via the High Court. If protesters win, the approval decision could be quashed.

EHAG supporters, who come from a wide area of the rural Wyre mosslands, including Out Rawcliffe, Nateby and Pilling, don’t know how much their legal fight will cost, but it could be many thousands of pounds. Fundraising is due to begin soon, with an appeal to the people of Garstang and district, as well as residents of Pilling mosslands, to get involved.

A statement from EHAG said: “We do not want Pilling Moss to be ruined by massive turbines and for the floodgates to open for more. We will fight this to the bitter end!

“EHAG has already raised monies to fight over the years, and we will continue to do so. We all feel cheated by what is supposed to be a democratic system for planning applications.

“The present trend is to force these massive turbines on to residents, no matter how many objections, and it is all driven at a fast pace by huge financial government incentives. We started fighting this application in December 2007 and for the past three years, we have won ‘the race’ at every stage.

“We got to the finishing line first – and the cup was handed to the losers!”

Matt Ollie, a spokesman for developers REG Windpower, said he was disappointed the pressure group would seek a judicial review, particularly as Wyre Council planning officers and the Planning Inspectorate had supported the scheme.

It is thought the judicial review could take anything between three and six months, with a decision made later this year.

A judicial review involves asking the High Court to consider whether there are flaws in the planning process at local planning authority and Planning Inspectorate level.