Golf Club hopes to iron out turbine problems

WHITEFIELD Golf Club has defended its plans to erect a 45-metre high wind turbine.

Local residents are furious as the turbine is within a green belt conservation area close to the Grade II-listed North Lodge entrance to Phillips Park.

And they claim the golf club's leaflet distribution - aimed at raising community awareness of the proposal - was "haphazard and sporadic", adding that it did not cover the majority of properties affected by the "visual and noise effects of the turbine".

The site of the turbine is on the perimetre of the golf course, located yards from Philips Park Road East.

Residents also stated that the turbine "is an incongruous, unsightly metal structure and will devalue property, create noise pollution, endanger wildlife and destroy an ancient green belt area".

And they warned: "The financial gain from this proposed blight on the landscape is disproportionate to the negative and undesirable impact it will impose on the heritage, character, property values of the area and the general goodwill of the community towards Whitefield Golf Club".

However, golf club board member Gordon Desser refuted the residents claims.

Mr Desser told the Jewish Telegraph: "We have given residents every possible opportunity to express their concerns.

"The leaflet drops were done through a professional company. The second leaflet drop did go wrong, but it was through no fault of our own.

"When we realised, we did a reprint and our members went round personally to deliver the leaflets to residents."

A planning application has been submitted to Bury Council.

"We thought it would be a good idea to have a wind turbine, as it will be ecologically-friendly and help the environment, in accordance with the government's plans to reduce emissions," said Mr Desser, who claimed several local councillors are in favour of the turbine.

"We appointed a specialist consultant in this field and have been through all the due processes.

"We have had a visual impact report, noise acoustic reports and flicker tests."

Mr Desser explained that the turbine will provide the golf club with an annual income which will secure its future for the foreseeable future.

"We are not in a good financial position," he added.

However, residents, who held a meeting at Sedgley Park Rugby Club last night, are also furious at the golf club's claim that their proposals would not directly require the removal of any existing trees.

The golf club board had employed an arboriculture and ecological expert, who concluded that the turbine would be located as far from the linear landscape as possible - and within the area of ownership without removing plantation woodland.

They also have made recommendations, which the golf club has accepted, to protect the bats in the area.

And, responding to residents' concerns over noise pollution and a reduction in house prices, Mr Desser said: "At the base of the turbine, providing there is no motorway noise, the noise is around 70 decibels, which is equal to a vacuum cleaner.

"At the nearest property, which is 280 metres away, the noise would be 39 decibels - which is equal to a home computer.

"What is certain is that if the golf club does not survive and the course becomes a local tip or building site, the views will be lost and the house prices will then fall."

The Whitefield Community Trust is a trust fund that would be established if the proposal to build the wind turbine is accepted.

There would be two trustees from the golf club and three trustees from outside the golf club.

Ten per cent of the net cash flow generated by the wind turbine will be donated to the trust each year.

Local non-profitable organisations and charities will be able to apply to the trust for funding.

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