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Wind farm fears

The storm of protest over proposals for a wind farm near Darrington has been cranked up after developers submitted their planning application to Wakefield Council.

Protesters have now been going head-to-head with developers at public exhibitions to showcase the scheme.

Banks Developments have now submitted an application for six wind turbines off Westfield Lane.

Reaction

The proposals have provoked a furious reaction from local residents who say the scheme is too close to their homes and will be an eyesore.

The original proposal put forward by the developers in February was for eight turbines.

But the company scaled their plans down in the wake of the sheer strength of public feeling against the scheme.

The show cased the revised plans for six turbines in two exhibitions in Carleton and Wentbridge.

But action groups protesting against the windfarm displayed their own exhibitions at the same venues.

Tony Hames, chairman of Pontefract Windfarm Action Group, said: “We got permission from the venue managers to put up a display in the foyer while Banks’ exhibition was inside.

“It was good because people could go and look at Banks plans and ask them questions then come and look at our display and ask us questions.

“A lot of people signed up to our group and we have well over 400 members now.

“The reduction of eight turbines to six has not changed our view at all. One turbine would be too many.

“We are not opposed to renewable energy but we are opposed to the building of wind turbines so close to properties.”

Sylvia White, of Darrington Against Turbine Energy Deployment (DATED) said: “Now that a planning application has been submitted, we will not stop fighting these plans and make sure that our voices are heard. We feel so passionate about this.”

A spokeswoman from Banks Developments said: “We understand that some residents have concerns about our proposals for the production of renewable energy in the Darrington area and we have made a number of significant changes to the scheme following our first exhibitions in February.

Questions

“We hope that our more recent exhibitions, attended by our technical specialists, have helped answer most of the questions and allayed some fears.”

She added that a detailed mapping exercise of Wakefield district showed Westfield Lane was one of the few areas that could accommodate a windfarm in an “environmentally acceptable manner” and non-technical summaries of the plan were available on the website: www.banksdevelopments.com

By Stuart Robinson

leedstoday.net

11 May 2007