Plans for Sheffield’s first major wind farms have been announced by the city council as it tries to meet demands to generate renewable energy for thousands of homes across the city.
Similar proposals in the Penistone area have met widespread resistance from residents and the Liberal Democrats have called for the council to involve local communities before any plans go ahead.
Four possible sites for wind turbines up to 50 metres high have been identified in a report published by the council.
They are on private land at Hesley Wood, Chapeltown, and Smithy Wood, Ecclesfield, and on council land at Westwood Country Park, Tankersley, and Butterthwaite Farm, Ecclesfield.
Paul Scriven, leader of the Liberal Democrats on the council, said: “Whilst we support wind turbines in principle we also believe local communities should be properly consulted on any proposal the council brings forward.
“People from the Ecclesfield and Chapeltown area should be fully involved at every stage. It’s important that the council recognises the local issues involved and that any plan is sensitive to the views of local residents.”
The report considered other ways to deliver “green” energy to the city, including burning wood and organic waste and using water in the River Don to generate power.
Mary Lea, cabinet member for environment, said: “The sites detailed in the report show potential but we will be doing further work with more detailed feasibility studies as well as consulting with local people.
“As a city, we must do what we can to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. One way in which we can do this is through the generation of energy from renewable sources, such as wind, water, biomass and solar.”
The report detailed the main findings of a study last summer. Council cabinet members will consider the delivery of renewable energy in Sheffield at a meeting next Wednesday.
By Anna Smith
22 March 2007
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