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Greens try to force a rethink on wind farm

Sheffield Green Party has reopened a debate on whether a controversial wind farm should be built in the north of the city.

Council officers said Westwood Country Park at High Green would be an ideal site for up to six 100-metre wind turbines.

The council agreed to do a feasibility study about whether the site was suitable.

But when the Lib Dems won control of the council, they abandoned the idea following strong protests from local residents who said the site – between Tankersley Park Golf Course and dozens of houses – was totally unsuitable.

Now Sheffield Green Party says it will force a vote on the wind farm proposals at a meeting of the full council next week.

They are calling for the feasibility study to be carried out and for an “objective” decision to be made on the basis of the study.

Green Councillor Rob Murphy said: “Wind power is an important part of the solution to the current energy crisis, particularly in the UK and in a hilly city like Sheffield.

“Local politicians should be looking at the evidence, not the scaremongering.

“They should be showing leadership on the issue by doing what is right for the city and its people.

“Rejecting proposals for the wind power project without proper consideration will send a signal to developers that this council would be unfriendly to future schemes.”

Because the Greens are a minority party, they are highly unlikely to force the council into a u-turn.

The Lib Dems have already told officers to find alternative, as yet unidentified, sites and are adamant the wind farm will not be built at High Green.

Experts say Sheffield is an ideal location for turbines as it has lots of wind coming in from the south west plus wind from the Atlantic.

But the Save Westwood Country Park group, formed by around 200 protesters, said the turbines would blight the appearance of the area, be too noisy and affect house prices.

Sheffield Telegraph

28 July 2008