Turbines or not turbines ... that is the question

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Should wind turbines be allowed to be built in Prescot and Whiston?

That’s the question being considered by council chiefs in Knowsley as they set out to consult on changes to their environmental and planning policy.

It follows a central government edict restricting the development of wind turbines to areas where the council has identified that they are suitable and - crucially - they have support from the local community.

Knowsley Council is therefore modifying its Local Plan, the document setting out its aims and policies on all planning issues.

Officials want all residents to have their say on whether wind turbines are a welcome addition to the borough.

Parts of Prescot in particular where there is significant open land could be viewed as prime sites for wind farms.

A council spokesman said: “Knowsley Council is consulting with the public on a further modification to its Local Plan following a recent change to Government policy related to wind turbine developments.

“In June 2015, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government issued a Written Ministerial Statement on Local Planning, which introduced changes to national planning policy on wind energy. This issue affects all authorities who are currently preparing a Local Plan.

“Government Planning Inspector Martin Pike, who is carrying out the Examination in Public of Knowsley’s Local Plan, advised that a change to the Plan would be needed to reflect these national policy changes.

“The suggested change will restrict the development of wind turbines to areas where the Local Plan has identified that they are suitable, and where there is support from the local community.

“Knowsley’s emerging Local Plan has not identified any suitable sites for wind energy development and there are no current proposals for wind farms within the borough.”

Public consultation started on Friday, September 4 and all comments must be received by noon on Friday, October 2.

The spokesman added: “Any responses which relate to other parts of the Plan will not be accepted.”

Details of the consultation, modification to the plan, guidance notes, response forms and supporting documents are available at www.knowsley.gov.uk/localplan.

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