National Trust bosses are proposing to erect a wind turbine on the Longshaw Estate in the Peak District – which they concede will cause permanent damage to a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
The proposal for the nine metre high turbine is to supply power to White Edge Lodge, an isolated Grade II listed building dating from 1836, which is used as self-catering accommodation.
But the lodge is not connected to the mains and so tenants have to use an oil-fired cooker and a wood-burning stove.
The Trust wants to reduce its carbon footprint and says the turbine will slash its output of greenhouse gases by more than 13,000 kilos a year.
It will be 100 metres away from the building, near a natural ridge and close to trees.
An application to the Peak District National Park Authority by the National Trust states: “The location of the turbine has been specifically selected to avoid archaeological remains and ecological interest.”
It says the cable trench would be in an area of “poor acid grassland” and “damage to the SSSI habitat will be temporary in nature, with the moorland making a natural recovery in a period of weeks or months”.
But it adds: “Unfortunately, the damage caused at the location and winch foundations will be permanent. There is no appropriate method to mitigate this adverse effect.”
There are already several wind turbines operating within the Peak District National Park, mostly to supply power to farms.
“But the park’s policy is to refuse any groups of turbines which they feel would detract from the area’s
outstanding natural beauty.
The Sheffield branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England said: “We were aware that this was in the pipeline, but not that it had been submitted. We will have to look at the application in details before deciding whether to object.
“It is an exposed location and popular with walkers. White Edge Lodge is quite prominent in the landscape. We would have concerns about the visual impact.
“When it comes to large turbines they are completely inappropriate in the National Park. This is a nine metre turbine, which is quite small, but we will be taking a look before deciding how to respond.”
By Tony Belshaw
3 March 2008
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