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Frodsham Marsh wind farm public inquiry begins

Wind Farms near Frodsham. Artist impression
Image caption The wind farm is planned for land on Frodsham Marsh

A public inquiry into plans for a wind farm in Cheshire has begun.

Peel Energy wants to build 19 turbines near to Frodsham, which would generate energy for about 30,000 homes.

The turbines, planned to be 125m (410ft) high, would occupy Frodsham Marsh, an area of land between the Manchester Ship Canal and the M56.

Cheshire West and Chester Council rejected the proposals in November 2010, leading to the setting up of a public inquiry.

The turbines would be split into two clusters across the 5.6sq km (557 hectare) site.

Andrew Dawson, conservative councillor for Frodsham, said: "This site is down at sea level. These turbines would be as high as Helsby Hill and Frodsham Hill.

"That is quite extraordinary and it would totally dominate the 14,000 people that live in and around the area."

Ahead of the inquiry Peel Energy has reduced the proposed number of turbines from 20 to 19 and changed the location of a sub-station.

A spokesperson for Peel Energy said: "In preparation for the public inquiry, Peel Energy has been undertaking further environmental and technical studies in consultation with statutory consultees such as Natural England and Cheshire West and Chester Council.

"As a result of this consultation Peel Energy has now submitted minor amendments to the application, supported by supplementary environmental information."

The inquiry will look at the development's visual impact and the effect it could have on the local area's Green Belt, wildlife, and the nearby Promontory fort on Helsby Hill.

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