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Anger over Ulley wind farm plan

Dozens of residents came together to discuss controversial plans for a windfarm site in Ulley.

Almost 50 people came together for the meeting which was held at Holy Trinity Church, on Main Street to voice their feelings about the potential site on Penny Hill.

Residents against the proposal have formed The Ulley Windfarm Action Group to try and tackle the plans themselves.

“I’m definitely opposed to it,” said Jeff Blades, of Aughton Lane, Aston who is part of the steering group.

“We want to keep our countryside and the wildlife – we don’t want great big industrial windfarms created, we think it’s wrong.”

“I have seen them out in the sea which is an ideal spot for them and there’s plenty of wind for them to operate.”

“They will be the size of Blackpool Tower. It’s something I feel very strongly about. People often complain about something after it has happened, but we are going to make it clear that we are dead against this from the beginning.”

The group, which is running a petition against the windfarm, say they have so far come across three people who are in favour of the plans and nearly 400 who are against.

Graham Hinchcliffe, another resident who has been co-ordinating the initial meetings against the plans says the turbines would be far too close to people’s homes.

“They are absolutely colossal in size,” said Graham.

“We are against it on environmental and safety issues. They would be right next to the motorway and there has been proof that wind turbines can cast a shadows across large areas.”

“There are eight lanes of traffic there with around 60,000 cars each day so this could cause major problems.”

“We are starting to collate relevant information and we are confident we can get a very good case together.”

“They are going to be very close to residential properties on the edge of Ulley. European guidelines say that the nearest dwellings have to be a particular distance away and these come are closer than that.”

But Banks Developments who are submitting the proposal to Rotherham Council say they are keen to take all issues into account and that beliefs that the turbines will be of such a great size are inaccurate.

“The public consultation process that we are undertaking is designed to give members of the local community the opportunity to express their opinions around our proposals for Penny Hill, and we will do everything we can to examine and address the issues raised,” Rob Williams, renewables projects director at Banks Developments.

“We collected a range of feedback from the 130 visitors to our recent public exhibitions in Aston, Ulley and Thurcroft, who expressed both positive and negative views about our proposals, and we are taking this into account as we draw up more detailed plans, which will be exhibited in the autumn in advance of their submission.”

“We can, however, say that the notion that any wind turbines would be as tall as the 158m-high Blackpool Tower is not accurate, and current indications are that turbines with hub heights of around 80 metres will be proposed.”