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'Stop wind farm plans madness'

Protesters against plans for a wind farm in a Sheffield suburb told the councillor in charge of the city’s environmental policy to “stop this madness”.

High Green residents attended yesterday’s full meeting of Sheffield Council to demand answers from cabinet member for sustainable environment, Coun Mary Lea, about the proposed scheme at Westwood Country Park.

Andrew Redfern asked: “Given this is a piece of green belt land and Hillsborough MP Angela Smith opposes these plans, as do local residents, will you abandon the plans?

“No other wind farms are near so many homes. Please stop this madness.”
Dr Helen Crampitt added that power companies such as E.On do not site windfarms within 750 metres of homes and questioned why council officers were not working according to power firms’ “best practice”.

She claimed the current plans would “ruin” the lives of hundreds of families.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet has given permission for officers to conduct a feasibility study into the project and find companies who would be interested in erecting wind farms at the site, as part of Sheffield’s commitment to producing green energy.

Coun Lea said: “Consultation is vital on this development and we have already gone out to the area twice. We will go out and consult, and the views of local people will be taken on board. A further report will be made to cabinet.”

Coun Lea said any firm proposals to build the wind farm would then have to go through the normal planning process, giving opportunity for objections to be considered.

If the scheme goes ahead, two to six wind turbines would be developed, each 60 to 100 metres tall.

Developers would pay the estimated £12 million cost, with the council putting up the land on a 20-year lease.

The Star

3 April 2008