Plans for two new wind farms on the moors above Penistone have been formally submitted to Barnsley Council.
The news has renewed the fierce local debate on wind power and prompted objectors to again voice their fears that much of the wind-swept rural landscape will become dominated by wind turbines unless checked.
Energy company E.ON has applied for permission to erect three 300-ft high turbines at Blackstone Edge, close to the existing 13 turbine Royd Moor windfarm.
Local landowner Geoff Pears has also applied for permission to put six 80-metre high turbines in the same area on land at Spicer House Farm, off Browns Edge Road.
His plans would mean three turbines in front of the existing Royd Moor wind farm with another three immediately behind it.
Planners in Barnsley yesterday approved E.ON’s application to erect a 52-metre high wind measuring mast on the Blackstone Edge site.
The company today announced it will hold a public exhibition to explain its proposals to locals at Crow Edge Community Centre on Tuesday from 12.30pm to 7.30pm.
Toby Lee, E.ON project developer, said: “We believe it’s extremely important for us to keep the local community fully informed and that is why we have set up this exhibition.”
Meanwhile opponents have met to agree a coordinated approach in lodging objections and are calling on Barnsley Council to come up with a uniform policy when considering windfarm applications.
Campaigner Alan Pestell, who organised the town and parish councils meeting, said: “What we are asking Barnsley Council to do is adopt a uniform approach to wind farms and make clear to everyone its policy on renewable energy, rather that judging each application piecemeal.
“Just how much more do these developers believe the landscape can take? How many more battles do we have to fight to try to protect our countryside?”
Breeze Renewable Energy Limited is also considering applying for planning permission to erect three more 410ft high turbines at Sheep House Heights by the side of the Stocksbridge Bypass, near Midhopestones.
Last year rural residents unsuccessfully opposed a scheme which was given the go-ahead by Barnsley planners for three 320ft turbines at nearby Crow Edge.
Barnsley Council planners approved the Crow Edge wind farm despite almost 500 letters of objection and admitted the turbines woul
d be visible for miles around including from nearby Peak Park.
Earlier plans for turbines on the site were turned down by planners and a government inspector as unsuitable because of their impact on the landscape.
But officials said attitudes to renewable energy projects have changed.
Mr Pestell said: “We warned when we opposed the first application that once companies get a foothold in an area more and more applications for wind farms would follow and sadly, as this latest news proves, we were right.”
6 February 2008
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