Turbine opponents suffer a fresh blow

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OPPONENTS of plans for two wind towering turbines on the mosslands between Garstang and Pilling have failed in their latest bid to block the go-ahead for the structures.

Planning permission has already been given to REG Windpower to build the 125m high turbines at Eagland Hill, but legal appeals by protesters to try to overturn the decision have so far halted the start of construction work.

Campaigners from the Eagland Hill Action Group learned this week they had failed in their latest efforts at the Court of Appeal to be granted a second appeal.

However, in what could be their last card, leading member, businessman Mr Stephen Hargreaves is hoping obtain the court’s permission for an oral hearing.

Mr Hargreaves confirmed to The Courier that he was now thinking to go down the oral hearing route, if he is given leave to do so by the court.

He added that he preferred not to comment further at this stage.

REG Windpower spokesman Mr Matt Olley said: “The judge has again supported previous recommendations for approval decisions and rulings, and refused leave to appeal on the papers.

“Despite this very firm refusal, the appellant, Mr Hargreaves, has now decided to seek an oral hearing, his final opportunity to challenge the decision.”

Mr Olley said he thought it unlikely that there would be any developments in the matter until the new year.

The hiatus at the Eagland Hill turbine site comes at the same time as the formal submission of plans for a second turbine at Kirkland.

Lancaster-based Wind Direct is working with the Parkinson family of Cross House Farm, which is next to the Dewlay site in Kirkland, on plans to erect a turbine that would be of a similar size to the Dewlay one.

WD’s planning application was sent to Wyre last week and is now on Wyre’s website planning list. A decision on the latest Kirkland turbine is expected in early 2012.

And further south, Barton Grange Garden Centre has lodged plans for a mini-turbine, prompting protests off Wyre MP Ben Wallace.

Mr Wallace has been lobbied by turbine opponent Mr Phil Punt of Bilsborrow, who is objecting to both the Barton Grange turbine and another at Myrepole Farm, Rapley Lane, Inkip.

Mr Punt has told Wyre Council he is concerned about “dozens of wind turbines in the area.”

He says permitting such turbines “will damage beyond recognition the beauty of the Wyre and Fylde for decades to come.”

He believes solar energy is an alternative and, while taking up more land area, would not affect the countryside as, in general, the panels are at ground level.

In a letter to Mr Punt, of St Michael’s Road, , Mr Wallace, said he shared Mr Punt’s concerns about the impact of turbines on the countryside and had also written to Wyre objecting to the Barton Grange and Myrepole farm proposals.

l Plans by Wyre Coun Lynne Bowen, for a 15 m high (top of tip) turbine at Moorham Hill Farm, Chapel Lane, Out Rawcliffe are being recommended for approval at today’s planning committee.