THREE wind turbines could still be built on farmland near The Reebok Stadium — despite Bolton Council throwing the plans out.

James Thornbarrow, of Chadwicks Farm, in Lostock Lane, Lostock, wants to put up three 66-metre turbines on his land, which is near the M61 and 250 metres from nearby Barton Fold Farm.

But the council rejected an application in June after 16 people formally objected, claiming the turbines would be too big, would be inappropriate for the green belt and would affect the living conditions of Barton Fold Farm residents.

Now Mr Thornbarrow has appealed that decision and the application is in the hands of the independent Planning Inspectorate.

When developers want to build in the green belt, they have to demonstrate there are special circumstances to justify the work.

A statement to the inspectorate says Mr Thornbarrow appealed on the grounds that “very special circumstances exist and that these are sufficient to outweigh any harm caused by the proposed development within the green belt”.

The statement adds: “The proposed development would not, by virtue of its siting, size and design, be detrimental to the character and appearance of the area, would not appear as an incongruous feature in the open countryside and would not result in any demonstrable harm to the amenity, outlook and living conditions of nearby residential properties.”

The statement also says that the application adhered to Government policy and had the support of Bolton Council’s planning officers, who had recommended in June that Bolton planning committee grant permission.

The appeal will be dealt with in writing.

The council and Mr Thornbarrow have until January 15 to read statements about the case, and that is also the deadline for interested parties to give their views to the inspectorate.

Both sides must give their final comments by February 5 and an inspector will make a final decision in the weeks after that.

When Bolton Council’s planning committee made its decision in June, Horwich and Blackrod Cllr Lindsey Kell called for the council to introduce a wind turbine policy, as she felt developers were making the same arguments each time.

Horwich Town Council objected to the plans due to numerous objections from the Blackrod area.