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Go-ahead likely for wind farm; Project to build 328ft turbines leaves community divided 

A controversial wind farm near Selby is set for the go-ahead this week.

Original plans for wind turbines at Rusholme, east of Drax power station, were submitted in June 2004.

The current scheme, including 12 turbines up to 328ft high, goes before Selby councillors on Wednesday and is recommended for approval.

The farm is expected to generate about 24 megawatts of electricity, enough power to supply 14,500 homes.

The plans have attracted an unprecedented number of objections, about 500 letters being sent to the council by opponents.

However, the council also has received 1,230 letters in support of the scheme, backing efforts to generate more electricity from renewable resources.

Goole and Howden’s town councils raised no objections, while East Riding Council only suggested a height limit or change in location for two of the turbines.

Selby Green Party backs the plans, saying any negative impact on the local environment is outweighed by the benefits of using renewable energy.

Opponents include the parish councils of Airmyn, Newland, and Snaith and Cowick.

Wressle Parish Council raised concerns about the visual impact of the turbines, saying: “The area is already overloaded with structures which deface the landscape, such as power stations and pylons.

“There has to be a limit to the number of ‘key characteristics’ which an area can absorb without it being turned into an industrial area.”

Drax Parish Council said its opposition to the scheme was unanimous, while a survey of villagers found 80 per cent of respondents objected to the turbines.

Drax said the wind farm would have a “significant detrimental visual impact” on the landscape and claimed that the proposed site was top-grade agricultural land.

Planners say that no suitable alternative site is available and, in the local context of power stations, motorways and pylons carrying overhead power lines, they cannot rule out the wind farm on the grounds of sensitivity of the landscape.

They are recommending councillors approve the scheme, subject to a lengthy list of conditions. These include controls over the colour of the turbines and the materials and lighting use, as well as measures to mitigate traffic generated by the site during construction.

Developer Wind Prospects, which has a wind farm near Hull, expects the Rusholme farm to operate for 25 years, after which the site would be returned to agricultural use.

The company forecasts it would take more than nine months to build the turbines, which would be a maximum 328ft tall, with a base up to 197ft tall topped by blades up to 131ft long. Other surveying and excavation work required before construction could begin.

District councillors adjourned a decision last month so they could visit other wind farms to view other turbines in action before making a decision.

They have visited Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire and Burton Wold in Northamptonshire.

The Government has already has indicated it regards the wind farm raises issues only of local significance and therefore will not intervene in the decision made by Selby Council.

By Julie Hemmings


This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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