After attending public exhibitions of plans for a huge windfarm between Lydiate, Formby and Ince Blundell, and after receiving hundreds of correspondents from concerned residents, Labour MP Bill Esterson is urging West Lancashire Council to listen to the views of his constituents.
Bill has been inundated with emails from concerned locals since the plans were announced. The main concern is that the wind turbines are too big.
Coriolis Energy, which is the company behind the plans, held the exhibitions at Leverhulme Hall in Great Altcar, Ince Blundell Village Hall and at Lydiate Parish Hall.
Bill attended the exhibition, to see for himself what the company has planned, and to speak to residents who were there.
The MP said that every person he spoke to was against the plans.
Bill said: "In advance of attending the public exhibition, I spoke to lots of residents from Lydiate, Maghull, Ince Blundell, Lunt and Formby, all of whom were against the scheme. In addition to that, I received, and continue to receive, lots and lots of emails from residents also sharing their concerns.
"When I attended the public exhibition, I could understand why people are worried.
"These turbines would be a similar height to St John's Beacon in Liverpool. And there would be as many as 24 of them.
"The energy company's own graphic illustrations of the turbines show them dominating the Sefton landscape, visible from every corner of my constituency and beyond into the rest of Sefton, West Lancashire and even further than that.
"Lots of people who attended the exhibitions have been shocked by the scale of the turbines.
"Each resident echoes the concerns of the next. One described the plans as a 'kick in the guts'. Another said they will destroy the 'rural charm of Sefton'. Yet another described them as an 'unnatural, industrial-scale blot on the landscape'.
"This is the immediate response of people who live here. As a result it is my duty to make sure that the planning committee in West Lancashire Council considers their views.
"People also raised concerns about the loss of high-grade agricultural land,the impact of such large turbines on those living closest as a result of their visual impact and the persistent sound that they generate. I trust that West Lancs, as the planning authority responsible, will take these issues into account before making any decision."
Bill said he was concerned that the Lib Dems in Government with the Tories were determined to disregard the concerns of local communities and encourage the building of windfarms near to towns and villages.
Bill said: “Lib Dem energy minister, Ed Davey, says he wants to see more wind farms including near towns and villages like Lydiate and Ince Blundell. But I am concerned that he and his Lib Dem and Tory colleagues in Sefton are not listening to the very real concerns raised by residents about the impact.
“People have a right to be heard and for their views to be considered when it comes to wind farms being developed so close to where they live.
“I am worried that the Lib Dems in government and their representatives in Lydiate and the Tories and their representatives in Formby and Ince Blundell are only interested in profits for energy companies and just won’t consider the views of residents.”
Bill said he was determined to ensure that the views and concerns of people in Lydiate and Maghull are considered and addressed before West Lancashire makes its decision.
Bill said: "I have already had discussions with parish and town councillors about this.
"We need make sure that all views are collated and presented to West Lancs.
"People need to make their views known and they can do that by contacting me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to my office at 29 Liverpool Road North, Maghull, L31 2HB.
"This is a major development which will have an impact on a number of communities in Sefton Central. The viewpoints of the people in these communities must be heard. West Lancs planning committee needs to balance the impact on the community and the landscape against the potential benefits of renewable energy. It is my job to make sure that residents’ views are heard and rest assured I will do just that."