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MP backs wind farm scheme protesters

Protesters fighting plans for a wind farm in the South Yorkshire countryside have been backed by an MP and a prospective parliamentary candidate for the area.

Protect Sheephouse Heights was set up after Sheffield-based firm Evelop applied to Barnsley Council for permission to build five 400ft turbines on a site close to the A616 Stocksbridge bypass.

The group has now attracted support from Labour MP for Stocksbridge and Hillsborough Angela Smith, who said she “strongly opposed” the idea of the wind farm despite the Government’s support for wind energy.

She said: “I know the area well and believe it will have a profoundly negative impact on both the residents of the area and on the landscape.

“Wind energy has a role to play in developing a sustainable future for Britain, but I do not believe that we should destroy the environment in order to protect it. I wish good luck to the campaign group in its fight to protect the landscape of this area. I will support its work in any way I can.”

Spencer Pitfield, who will fight for Mrs Smith’s seat in the next General Election, also said he would back the Protect Sheephouse Heights campaign.

He said: “It is, of course, right that the UK should be looking towards finding even greater supplies of renewable energy sources. The Conservative Party has championed this cause and is committed to achieving a dramatically more sustainable future for our country… However, the installation of renewable wind energy sources should not be at the expense of ignoring proper planning rules and riding roughshod over the crucially important views of local residents when making decisions about their location.

“The turbines proposed for Sheephouse Heights are of such a size and in such numbers that any benefit they would produce would no doubt be at the expense of the quality of life for local people in the area. For these reasons I fully support the campaign group… ”

By Martin Slack

Yorkshire Post

14 July 2008