Plans for a South Yorkshire wind farm could be blown away – unless a power company comes up with an urgent background noise report.
Councillors are due to consider an application by Cornwall Light and Power to build three 95-metre high wind turbines at Loscar Farm, Harthill, on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham, on January 31.
But the company has been told that unless it supplies a report on projected background noise from the turbines the application could be refused.
Campaigners have already opposed the wind farm plans on the grounds the turbines will be a blot on the landscape and because of possible noise nuisance.
The energy company says a noise report would be meaningless – because noise levels will be lower than government regulations allow.
But their argument has fallen on deaf ears after Rotherham Council said the report was necessary for councillors to give the application proper consideration.
Cornwall Light and Power development manager Bob Morgan said: “We need a decision – this application has dragged on far too long.
“The background noise level work we have done at Loscar Farm shows the levels would be between 42 and 43 decibels, so they would be below the 45 decibel limit.
“Earlier this year we submitted additional noise information based on new turbine locations on the site. We have now moved the turbines to reduce the noise impact.
“We have discussed the noise levels with the council planning officer and environmental health officers explaining they would be lower than permitted, so there is no need for a background noise report.”
But the company says it will endeavour to get one prepared in time for the January 31 planning meeting.
David Bentley, chairman of the Harthill Action Group, said: “I can’t explain why the power company has not submitted a noise report, but we are glad to see that the planners are insisting.”
A council spokesman said: “I can confirm that we have asked for information to fully assess the impact of noise.
“Without that information it would not be possible to report all the issues fully to members of the planning board.
“In that event it is likely that the officers would recommend that the proposals are refused.”
Cornwall Light and Power took over the wind farm application from npower renewables last year.
By Ray Parkin
31 December 2007
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