Controversial plans for Rotherham’s first wind farm can go ahead after the Government decided not to get involved.
Outline plans for three giant wind turbines at Loscar Farm, Harthill, were approved by Rotherham Council planners in March, but were then referred to the Government for their comments.
Now the Government has decided not to take any part in the planning process and the wind farm project will almost certainly proceed.
Council planning manager Bronwen Peace said a decision notice granting conditional planning permission for the turbines to energy company Cornwall Wind and Power would now be released.
Plans to erect the three 95m turbines on the farmland half a mile from the M1 were first submitted three years ago and prompted hundreds of objections on the grounds they would be an eyesore and a threat to health.
But planning officials say the benefits of the wind farm, such as cheap power for more than 2,000 households and no harmful emissions compared with power stations, must be weighed up against disadvantages.
Meanwhile the council has been warned that rainwater run-off from concrete hardstandings at another proposed wind farm at Penny Hill, Ulley, could pose a flooding risk.
An area assembly meeting in Catcliffe was told by former geography teacher Mike Corden that the wind turbines half a mile from Ulley Reservoir would be standing on huge concrete bases and rainwater would simply run off them.
He said: “No one seems to realise just how much extra run-off rainwater would be generated from the six huge hardstandings around each of these turbines.
“It could make the situation at Ulley Reservoir more serious than last year when it threatened to collapse.”
By Ray Parkin
10 July 2008
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