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Protesters strike a blow  

Controversial plans for a wind farm near Pontefract have been scaled down after massive public protest.

But local residents still say they will not stop campaigning until the plans have been fought off completely.

Banks Developments, who are looking to build the wind farm on land between the A1 and Went Hill ridge, are set to put their revised plans on show to the public later this month.

The company originally said they would be applying to build up to eight turbines on the land.

Proposals provoked a furious reaction from the local community which has seen action groups formed and over 500 people attend two public meetings in February.

Now Banks say they will only be applying for a maximum of six turbines.

Protesters say that is not enough, and have vowed to fight on to see the plans scrapped.

Sylvia White of the Darrington Against Turbine Energy Deployment (Dated) group said: ” A representative from Banks came to see me and told me that they were only planning six turbines now. I looked at him and said ‘we don’t want one.’

Wind farms like this should not be built so close to a residential area and we are determined to fight the plans to the end.”

Banks say a planning application will be submitted in the next few weeks.

They say site access for all construction traffic will now be directly from the A1 and all turbines will be to the west of Westfield Lane, further back than originally planned.

Rob Williams, senior project manager at Banks Developments, says: “There was a great deal of interest in our initial exhibitions and we had a wide variety of questions from local people, both around the specific design of the Westfield Lane scheme and about general issues relating to wind farm developments.

“The consultation has enabled us to give factual information to all parties on topics including background noise, visual impact, proximity to residential properties and the importance and effectiveness of renewable energy generation. It has also enabled us to receive feedback from local people and organisations which has played an important part in helping us to finalise our design plans.”

Walks

Tony Hames, chairman of the Pontefract Wind Farm Action Group said: “We are not opposed to wind farms but not on land which is enjoyed for recreation and leisure. People come from miles around to enjoy walks and picnics in this area and that will all be ruined if these plans go ahead.”

Banks say the plans would be enough to power around one in 20 of all the homes in Wakefield, and would meet the town’s renewable energy targets for the rest of the decade.

The Westfield Lane Wind Farm public exhibitions will take place at the Carleton Community Centre on April 24 between 1pm and 5pm, and at the Wentbridge House Hotel, Wentbridge, on April 25 between 3pm and 7pm.

For further information, ring community liaison manager Bob Swainson at Banks Developments on 01740 658500.

By Stuart Robinson

leedstoday.net/

16 April 2007

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

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