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Tell the public more about windfarm plan

A Sheffield MP has slammed council chiefs for pushing ahead with plans for a windfarm in High Green before consulting locals.

Hillsborough MP Angela Smith is writing to council leader Jan Wilson to express her disappointment at the lack of local involvement so far in plans for a windfarm on Westwood Country Park.

Sheffield Council revealed earlier this week that it had identified the park as a possible site for the city’s first windfarm.

Next week’s cabinet is due to approve a feasibility study and to invite proposals from developers.

But Angela Smith is demanding that “the fullest possible consultation” with local people is carried out before any firm decision.

She said: “While I am a supporter of green energy and consider it to be of vital importance, I think local people should have been properly informed.

“The possibility of a wind farm at Westwood Park may have been discussed some months ago at the local area panel, but how many people attend such meetings?

Council bosses say they intend to launch a consultation exercise over the next few months.

Coun Mary Lea, the council’s cabinet member for sustainable environment, said: “As the report clearly states, a key part of this next phase is a thorough consultation process involving the area panel and local residents.

Green Party councillor Jillian Creasy said she saw wind turbines as “iconic symbols of a sustainable future” but said there were “clearly issues forthose who live close by and for users of Westwood Country Park”.

By Tony Belshaw

The Star

9 February 2008