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Height of protest at giant windfarm plans

Campaigners fighting plans to build five wind turbines almost as tall as Blackpool Tower in South Yorkshire have launched a protest group and won backing from a local MP.

The group will oppose a planning application for five turbines – which would be Britain’s biggest-ever at 410ft high each – at Sheephouse Heights, by the side of the Stocksbridge Bypass.

Protesters from Protect Sheephouse Heights campaign group say the height of the proposed site, plus the colossal size of the turbines will mean they will be visible for miles. Residents from Penistone, Stocksbridge and surrounding areas are determined to fight the plans.

Spokesman Alan Hey said: “Sheephouse Heights, at more than 1,000 feet above sea level, overlooks the Little Don Valley towards the Peak District National Park, and over Langsett Moors, a very popular walking area.

“The addition of turbines would be visible from miles away and we believe, would have a drastically adverse impact on the visual amenity and landscape value of the area.

“I believe they are so huge most people have difficulty imagining just how high and intrusive they will be.

“We are not against renewable energy projects in general, but this proposed development could have potentially disastrous effects on the environment.

“The logistics of massive movements of materials and components, transporting 40,000 tonnes of building material to the site, would create enormous problems on rural roads surrounding the whole area, roads that are already barely fit for existing purposes.”

The group is now setting up a website, plans regular newsletters and will be at Bolsterstone Show on the weekend of July 5 and 6 to promote their campaign.

Hillsborough MP Angela Smith, who supported the successful campaign against a wind farm at Westwood Park, in Sheffield, is backing the protest group.

She said: I think the proposal will have a fundamentally negative impact on the landscape. It is on the edge of the Peak Park and we must do all we can to protect the landscape of the park. I do not believe that we have to destroy the environment in order to save the environment.”

Protect Sheephouse Heights can be contacted on 07941 360680.

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

By Gail Robinson

The Star

27 June 2008