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Turbine plans put the wind up residents  

Controversial plans have been lodged to build five of Britain’s biggest-ever wind turbines on land between Sheffield and Barnsley.

Breeze Renewable Energy wants to erect five turbines – each 410 feet high – at Sheep House Heights, by the side of the Stocksbridge Bypass near Midhopestones.

The site, on Hunshelf Bank, overlooks the Langsett Valley and will be clearly visible for miles around, say opponents in Stocksbridge.

Environmental campaigner and parish councillor Alan Pestell said: “These are not simply big turbines – they are colossal.

“They will have a substantial impact on the surrounding countryside for miles and miles.The sheer scale means this is no longer just affecting people in rural hamlets in Penistone and surrounding villages, but thousands more people.”

Breeze Renewable Energy has applied to Barnsley Council for planning permission for the turbines.

Hillsborough MP Angela Smith said: “While this is a Barnsley Council planning application, it is my understanding these turbines will be among the largest ever installed anywhere in the UK.

“They will be clearly visible to many residents in the Stocksbridge area, and I am keen that their views are taken into account before any planning permission is granted.”

The Sheep House Heights application is one of three, all within a few miles of each other, currently being considered by Barnsley planners.

Energy company E.ON wants to build three 101 metre-high turbines on Blackstone Edge, close to 13 existing turbines at Royd Moor.

And farmer Jeff Pears has applied for permission to erect five turbines, each 84 metres high, at nearby Spicer Hill, which is also close to Royd Moor.

Last year rural residents unsuccessfully opposed three 320ft turbines at nearby Crow Edge. They have been given the go-ahead by Barnsley planners.

Mr Pestell said: “If every application was approved there would be 30 turbines in this area. How can anyone claim that will not have a severe impact on the landscape?”

Last week plans for Sheffield’s first ever wind farm, on a country park, were shelved by the city’s new ruling Lib Dems.

Council officers had identified Westwood Country Park, between Tankersley Park Golf Course and dozens of houses, as a location for up to six 100-metre turbines. But the Lib Dems agreed with Save Westwood Country Park pressure group in High Green that the turbines would blight the appearance of the area, be too noisy, and affect house prices.

A spokesman for Barnsley Council’s planning department said: “We would expect to be in a position for the planning board to make a decision on these three individual applications within the next few months.”

Anyone with a comment should write to Planning and Transportation Service, Development Control Section, Central Offices, Kendray Street, Barnsley, S70 2TN.

By Gail Robinson

The Star

13 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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