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Storm brewing over number of wind turbines in countryside  

Credit:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 22 December 2010 ~~

Countryside campaigners have spoken of their concern over the “proliferation” of wind turbines in the Yorkshire countryside after plans emerged for another wind farm on the Pennine moors between Barnsley and Huddersfield.

The Durham-based company, Pure Renewable Energies, has submitted plans to Kirklees Council for four 95m (312ft) turbines at High Flatts, on the border between South and West Yorkshire, near the village of Ingbirchworth.

A final decision on whether to allow the development, to be known as the Dearne Head Wind Farm, will be made by Kirklees Council in the New Year, but the authority has asked colleagues in Barnsley to comment because of the site’s border location.

Planners in Barnsley met yesterday to discuss the plans and heard concerns from the South Yorkshire branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and local residents.

In a report to the Barnsley planning committee, the CPRE said that one of the major problems was that there were already several wind farms in the area, and there were more in the pipeline because previous permissions had been granted.

Campaigners added: “The cumulative impact will have a significant adverse effect upon Barnsley’s landscape. In particular, the proliferation of wind turbines would have an industrialising impact on the rural landscape.

“The area provides an important recreational facility to the residents of Barnsley and beyond. The turbines would be visible from the Barnsley Boundary Walk and four turbines would have a significant impact on visual amenity.”

Barnsley Council has already approved four wind farms in the area including the 13-turbine Royd Moor installation, which has already been built and is due to cease operation in eight years’ time under its current arrangements.

Plans have also been approved for nine turbines close to the nearby village of Crow Edge, including three at Hazlehead, where construction is due to commence shortly, three at Blackstone Edge and another three at Spicer Hill.

Parish councillors told yesterday’s meeting that they considered it “not acceptable” to add a fourth wind farm on the same ridge as Royd Moor, Blackstone Edge and Spicer Hill claiming that the visual impact would be unprecedented.

They added that the proposed High Flatts development would “completely overshadow the surrounding communities, small farms and houses in the area” saying that one turbine is in full view of most of the village of Birds Edge.

Representatives from Gunthwaite and Ingbirchworth parish council also expressed their concern that Renewable Energies had only taken account of issues that could affect Kirklees communities, with “no mention” made of villages in South Yorkshire.

Other concerns raised included the effect of another wind farm on terrestrial TV signals, so-called shadow flicker, which is claimed to be dangerous for passing motorists and the risk of structural failure, which could see broken turbine blades thrown up to 1,000 yards at high speeds.

In a report to yesterday’s meeting, Barnsley Council’s planning officers told members that although permission had been given for other wind turbines in the area, there were a number of reasons why the High Flatts proposal should be stopped.

The report said that Renewable Energies had not made a strong enough case for a development in the green belt and added: “The visual amenity of Barnsley residents and of the green belt is significantly injured, contrary to planning guidance.

“In particular, the proposed Dearne Head Wind Farm impacts adversely on the symmetry and overall appearance of wind farms approved within the Barnsley borough.”
Nobody from Renewable Energies could be contacted to comment yesterday.

Source:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 22 December 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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