Contentious plans for a trio of 95m tall wind turbines will finally go before Rotherham Council next week.
A special meeting of the planning board – including a morning site visit to Loscar Farm on Packman Lane – will decide whether local farmer John Wilks gets the go ahead for what would be the borough’s first wind farm.
Harthill Action Group has campaigned against the 1.3 megawatt turbines since the idea was first mooted three-and-half-years ago and is hoping that the council will veto the proposal.
“Hopefully we will get a favourable decision,” said chairman Dave Bentley. “We have done an awful lot of work.”
“The action groups in Harthill, Woodall and Thorpe Salvin could not have done any more, so we just hope the council comes down on our side.”
“I should also congratulate the council’s planning department because they have done a thorough job with this application.”
“They have made sure they have all the information to make a reasonable judgement, taking into account the noise and landscape.”
Planning board members will meet with objectors and representatives from developers Cornwall Light & Power (CLP) at the Parish Oven pub on Thursday morning.
They will then tour the area, viewing the proposed development site from various vantage points before the special meeting at Rotherham Town Hall at 12.45pm.
CLP development manager Bob Morgan said he is pleased to see the proposal go before the council after several hold-ups.
“It’s been a long, hard process with the delays,” he said. “From our point o
f view, and that of the local community, the decision should have been made earlier. It has created uncertainty in the community. We felt we provided all the information and addressed all the issues to everyone’s satisfaction as early as May last year.”
“But the council felt it needed more, and so we carried out two further background noise measurements. They both supported our appliciation.”
He added: “The plans are going forward with a recommendation for approval, based on all the work we have done as respectable developers.”
“We have always maintained the benefits of green power outweigh the objections. There are two very vocal groups against the proposals, but there’s also a significant level of underlying support for this.”
“In planning terms, it ticks all the relevant boxes and we are just looking forward to actually getting a decision. It should be an interesting day.”
By Gareth Dennison
21 March 2008
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