We moved here for a better life, but it's about to be left in tatters

A farmer who moved to a farm on the Fylde Coast for a 'better life' says it will be ruined by plans for two offshore wind farms.

Objectors to the plans say they will tear through greenbelt land. The wind farms are set to be positioned in the Irish Sea, with a 'cable corridor' connecting the structures to an existing electricity substation in Penwortham.

While many residents do not object to improving green energy infrastructure, the nature of the plans has been contentious.. Farmland, greenbelt and countryside land could be destroyed in the plans from Morgan and Morecambe - including privately-owned land in Newton, where a number of individuals live and work.

One such individual is Nicky Black, who bought her land in the countryside of the town around seven years ago.


At the time, she purchased the land with her husband, Colin Black, who unexpectedly passed away in January. The family wanted to have somewhere for their horses to graze and live a "better life".

But now they say their idealistic lifestyle could be thwarted in a matter of months.

Nicky says Morgan and Morecambe have plans to build two substations near her land, one of which is set to be the size of 13 football pitches and over 23 metres in height.

"We bought this as a field, we fenced it off and built the stables," Nicky told LancsLive when we visited the area. "We went all through the correct planning and had a terrible time getting planning."

Nicky says they "can't manage" if Morgan and Morecambe are to proceed with the plans, as the works, substations and having the company build through her land would be too much of a disruption for her animals.

The 67-year-old added: "Once the substation is built, the noise from that will just be constant - a constant hum and a constant buzz. My horses will be sent demented because they've got extra sensitive hearing.

"They can hear from up to three kilometres away, they can hear your heartbeat. So you tell me about noise like that, aside from the disruption? It's unmanageable.

"They say, if you find additional grazing we'll pay for it. Right? Well, where am I going to find additional grazing around here? Where can I have it close enough to be able to bring them in and take them out to ride?

"What do I do with my sheep?"

In Wrea Green, ten minutes down the road there's a similar situation. Chris Pollit built the village's equestrian centre around 43 years ago and with plans from Morgan and Morecambe, she could face losing it forever - all for the safety of her horses.

She told LancsLive: "Its sixth sense is amazing, like a dog. So it feels vibrations, noise, smell, sight, much more than we do. If that gets wind of something, in a school where we may have five riders going around, it's fight or flight with a horse.

"It doesn't think, oh that's a new noise I wonder what that is? It bucks and runs like hell and they will run through a brick wall. If you've got three others in, they will follow because it's a herding instinct."

Nicky reiterates this sentiment, saying the horses are her number one priority and will not be an option to simply get rid of them as they're her pets and the sole reason the land was purchased. She says her land could be cut down by 50 per cent for the grazing, as her horses won't be able to properly use the area with works around.

"I'm not getting rid of my animals, they're part of my family, they're my pets," Nicky said defiantly. However, the landowner isn't sure what the future may hold as an alternative, but it's more than just land for her.

Talking about her late husband, Nicky said: "We've had the land for just over six years. When my husband retired, we decided we didn't want to be on the yards anymore and we wanted something for ourselves.

"My husband had breathing problems, so when he was out in the fresh air it was really good for him. Unfortunately he then got cancer but he died 15 weeks ago of a heart attack in the second field.

"He was tending the sheep and just died. It's hard and from a heart condition we didn't even know he had. His two cancers were masking the symptoms of having a bad heart. We bought this as a retirement retreat and our quiet place."

The plans for the wind farms are two-fold, the Morgan side of the project is to be developed under a joint venture between BP and EnBW Energie Baden-Wurttemberg AG. The Morecambe side is under a joint venture between Cobra and Flotation Energy.

LancsLive contacted Fylde Council, who stated their position on the plans haven't changed since November 2023, when objections were raised with the proposals and presented at that time. The council have not yet been made aware of any changes or further consultation on the scheme.

A Lancashire County Council spokesman said: "A consultation relating to a forthcoming application by a private company to develop a new offshore windfarm across the Fylde Coast was carried out towards the end of 2023.

"During the consultation, we raised concerns about the impacts on ecology, particularly near the internationally protected areas of the Ribble estuary and the impact on the local highway network and other concerns.

"Our planning and transport officers highlighted that the proposal has the potential to cause significant disruption to residents during construction and any roadworks are likely to have significant knock-on effects to the wider network resulting in congestion. They also advised that information in the Lancashire Environmental Records Network should be taken into account, such as irreplaceable habitats, habitats of principal importance and protected and priority species that may be affected.

"As the proposal is classed as a 'nationally significant infrastructure project,' the application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, who will review the application and make recommendations to the Secretary of State, who has the powers to grant or refuse development consent.

“However, the Planning Inspectorate's review process does include a process of public examination."

A spokesperson for Morgan and Morecambe said: "The Morgan Offshore Wind Project and the Morecambe Offshore Windfarm are two proposed offshore wind farms being developed in the Irish Sea. The two offshore wind farms intend to make an important contribution to the UK's target of generating 50GW of power from offshore wind by 2030.

"Combined they have the potential to generate almost 2GW of electricity - enough to power the equivalent of around two million homes. Since 2022, our project teams have held three rounds of consultation (both non-statutory and statutory) and we recognise that public consultation is a vital process, which gives the local community an opportunity to review our proposals, ask us questions and provide their feedback.

"All feedback we have received has been considered to date and helped inform our design process. We understand there are local concerns, and these will be addressed in due course. We intend to provide a further update on our plans over the coming months, before we submit our application, later in the year."