Controversial wind turbines up to 50 metres high could be placed in Sheffield’s countryside to generate green power for city homes.
Four possible sites have been identified on private land at Hesley Wood, Chapeltown and Smithy Wood, Ecclesfield, and council land at Westwood Country Park, Tankersley and at Butterthwaite Farm, Ecclesfield.
But Andy Nolan, Sheffield Council head of environmental strategy, said they had to study sites carefully.
“Sheffield is quite an upland area so wind speeds are better than other cities but there are a lot of constraints on where we can locate turbines and it’s a difficult balancing act.
“For safety reasons they need to be far enough away from homes, businesses and roads but close enough to them to have a connection to the National Grid and be accessible for maintenance.
“They can be between 10 metres to 100 metres high but we’re looking for ones in between, although each site would be different.
“There is the potential for more than one turbine and on sites like Westwood Country Park there could be up to five.”
But Westwood Cattery owner Michael Pinder, who lives on the edge of Westwood Country Park, said he would not be happy having turbines so close to home.
“No-one has mentioned anything to me but I think I would object to such an idea,” said Michael, who owns the cattery with his wife Kathryn.
“I don’t think the land here is high enough anyway.”
Kathryn said she was “unsure” of the implications of such a development.
“I have never thought about wind turbines before and I’m not really sure what the implications are,” she said.
“There are a lot of trees around here that might interfere. I would definitely be interested to know if there are any such plans in the pipeline.”
But the council says the four sites have passed all the tests.
Mr Nolan said: “They have good wind speeds and are consistent, with wind coming from the same direction. They have a 400m buffer away from other developments and good connections to the National Grid.
“Noise is an issue but technology is improving all the time and Butterthwaite farm already has background noise from the M1 to mask it.”
The turbines would still need planning permission but Mr Nolan believes people are more supportive of them now.
“People could make their objections through the planning process but we think people want to see the council showing some leadership. People are more aware of climate change and are looking to local authorities to develop these schemes.
“This is not just about climate change and trying to meet targets but we are running out of fossil fuels.
By Lucy Ashton and Amy Burns
21 March 2007
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