130 residents at emergency meeting over Cliviger wind farm new road plans

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AN emergency meeting for residents wishing to object to plans for a new access road near Cliviger was attended by 130 people.

So many people were wanting to express their opinions on a private road, which would be used to access Coal Clough Wind Farm during its redevelopment, that visitors at the meeting were spilling out onto the car park.

Villagers, MP Gordon Birtwistle, parish councillors, and representatives from Scottish Power, attended Cliviger Village Hall on August 21st, to share their views on plans for an access track at land south of Over Town, approximately 6.4km south East of Burnley.

The track would be used to transport large-scale equipment, if plans for eight wind turbines, with a maximum height tip of 110m, are given the go-ahead. The wind turbines would replace 24 wind turbines and associated earthworks.

But residents fear that the access road would not only be unsightly, but would also have detrimental impact on any wildlife.

Parish councillor Paula Riley, who was in attendance at the meeting, said: “The residents are very upset.

“We are going to be putting objections in regarding the environmental impact and the issue of the visual impact.

“It was a very good meeting, and all the parish councillors attended to show their full support.”

And a Cliviger resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The meeting was extremely well attended.

“The planning officer and representatives from Scottish Power were in attendance.

“They went through the planning process and Scottish Power went on to discuss the wind farm. Then it was open to questions from the residents.

“The major concern was about the access road, and the impact it will have.

“When it was asked ‘who in this room is in favour of the plans’, the majority were against.”

If accepted, the road would be 1km in length and would link Red Lees Road to the west, with the Long Causeway to the east. Work would start in August 2013, and would take approximately 18 weeks.

On a leaflet that was distributed to Burnley residents prior to the meeting, other concerns from various villagers were listed.

These included the views that a private access road would devalue house prices, cause irreparable damage to Cliviger countryside, dramatically increase the number of heavy goods vehicles travelling through Cliviger, and cause excessive noise to local residents. A fear was also expressed that if accepted, it would then open the floodgates for more planning applications.

Talking to the Express before the emergency meeting, one Cliviger resident, who wanted to be known as Peter, said: “Residents are up in arms about the plans.

“The only people that have had official notification are in the direct vicinity of the road.

“But it’s going to affect everybody, not only in Cliviger, but in Burnley as well.

“These vehicles have to come from somewhere.”