Council rejects wind turbine proposal

A Frodsham resident has criticised councillors after his application for a wind turbine on his farm in the Green Belt was rejected by Cheshire West & Chester Council.

Hugh Pode was seeking to erect a small-scale wind turbine on land at Riley Bank Farm. A detailed application and supporting evidence was prepared by planning consultant Christopher Monckton and renewable energy company Eco Environments.

This was then recommended for approval by Cheshire West & Chester Council's planning department. In its report recommending approval, planners stated: "The proposed erection of one wind turbine on a 15 metre mast is considered to be of an acceptable design and will not have any unacceptable detrimental impact on neighbouring residential amenity. The merits of the proposal have been assessed and it is clear that the very special circumstances of the site and the proposal outweigh any harm by inappropriateness in the Green Belt."

Planners said they were satisfied about visual and landscape impact, the siting within Green Belt land and noise levels.

However, when the application was considered by the council's planning committee last week it was voted down after a ten-minute objection by Frodsham mayor Cllr Andrew Dawson, who bizarrely compared Pode's 6kw Proven Energy wind turbine with plans by Peel Energy for a wind farm on Frodsham marshes.

No other councillor spoke in the debate and Monckton was restricted to three minutes to put his case across. Eight councilors voted against and two in favour, with a single abstention.
David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, said: "We have encountered many frustrating examples of councillors refusing permission for domestic wind turbines, but this one in Frodsham is in a totally different league.

"It seems that the application was turned down because of a single councillor's extraordinary ignorance and desire to stand in the way of progress.

"The planning process had been painstaking and Christopher Monckton had answered fully a number of questions asked by the planners, but it appears that months of detailed reporting counted for nothing when Cllr Dawson rose to his feet.

"I cannot comprehend how Cllr Dawson could even begin to link a single small-scale domestic wind turbine on someone's land with a fully fledged commercial wind farm on Frodsham marshes."

Monckton added: "We met all the conditions of the planning application and the processes followed by the planning department were exemplary. We went out of our way to ensure that every concern was answered fully. We will be appealing to the planning inspectorate and are extremely confident that the decision to refuse will be overturned."

The introduction of the Government's Feed-in-Tariff scheme in April last year was intended to hasten the number of homeowners and businesses considering installing turbines. Under the FIT regime, customers are paid for every kilowatt hour of electricity their system produces irrespective of whether they use it or not as well as being paid for electricity sold back to the national grid.

Your Comments

Sounds like a silly nimbie to me. What an ignoramus! Unless he thought that Peel could use the fact that planning permission was granted for this as setting a precedent which they could take advantage of?

By Anon

Absolutely ridiculous. the Council should be championing farmers and helping them to make their businesses more viable. I hope CWAC see the light and have a firm word with the cllr in question!

By Anon

Thank goodness somebody had the galls to stand up against green belt development, hope the same happens at Crowton!! Keep green belt green, wildlife needs somewhere safe to live.

By Animal Lover

Maybe people should stop calling people NIMBY’s all the time and look at the picture in greater depth. I tell you what you swap houses with me and live under the flickering shadow of these monstrosities and see how you like it. Apart from the money that comes from yours and my pocket to finance and maintain these things is a by-product is it? At the last count the subsidies these farms get is £650,000 per turbine per year and that is what this big windfarm con is about – MONEY out of yours and my pocket for the shareholders!

By It's on your bill

I grew up in the shadow of one of Western Europe’s largest power stations along with the coal mines that fed it. We need electricity and I can promise you that renewable sources such as wind farms are much less visually intrusive than huge cooling towers and billowing clouds of smoke and steam.

As for suggesting that the Green Belt should be protected as somewhere for ‘animals to live’… the majority of Green Belt land is agricultural, which is considerably less diverse in species than the average suburban garden!

By SeeSense

@It’s On Your Bill In the near future our existing power stations (coal and nuclear) will reach the end of their lives and be decommissioned. At the moment we do not generate enough pwer by other means to fill the gap while new plants are built. We should not rely on foreign imports as this puts us at the mercy of largely non-reliable regimes. Do you ever stop to think about life beyond your own borders and life span? Thanks to the many people who have had to, and still, put up with large energy generating plants (and all that goes with that) on their doorsteps for years, you can lead your life in comfort, with the energy you need at your fingertips. I don’t hear you moaning about that? I wonder how long it will be until you complain when the lights start going out? This farmer was seeking to take responsibility and generate the power his family and business needs from a free and non-polluting source, using a SMALL SCALE turbine. This is precisely the sort of initiative we should be supporting – local and community-based schemes. The latter are even better as the benefits stay within the community as a whole. I think you need to go and visit an open cast coal mine and large generation plant to give yourself some perspective about where your energy comes from. You might not feel so hard done by then.

By Fed up

Subscribe to our newsletter