Campaigners today made a late appeal to councillors to reject plans for three massive wind turbines.
Rotherham councillors will decide whether to give farmer John Wilks the go ahead for the town’s first wind farm on land near Harthill, not far from the M1 motorway.
Plans for the turbines, which would generate enough power for thousands of homes, were first put forward three years ago.
But they were put on hold after developer npower Renewables was bought out by Cornwall Light and Power.
The plans were activated again last year and the power company has held a high-profile consultation exercise to win the public’s backing.
But Harthill Action Group has campaigned against the turbines, claiming they will destroy an area of outstanding beauty and cause noise problems.
Campaigners have submitted hundreds of pages of evidence to support their objections.
“Hopefully we will get a favourable decision. We have done an awful lot of work,” said Action Group chairman Dave Bentley. 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.”
Members of Rotherham Council’s planning board will visit the area on Thursday to look at the
proposed site of the turbines before a special meeting at Rotherham Town Hall.
Planning officials are recommending the wind farm goes ahead.
Cornwall Light and Power development manager Bob Morgan said: “From our point of 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 application.
“Mr Wilks says he needs the wind farm on his land as part of plans to diversify his business.”
By Ray Parkin
25 March 2008
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