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Draughton residents speak out against Chelker wind farm proposals  

Credit:  Craven Herald & Pioneer, www.cravenherald.co.uk 4 April 2011 ~~

Residents have spoken out against plans to build three 80-metre high wind turbines at Chelker Reservoir.

Kelda Water Services (KWS) wants to replace four existing 45-metre high turbines with three 80-metre structures that would power Yorkshire Water’s nearby Chelker and Lobwood pumping stations.

The residents of East Berwick House, East Berwick Farm and East Berwick Barn are strongly opposed to the scheme.

Alison Plunkett, who lives at East Berwick House, said: “We’re all for green energy, but the problem we’ve got is that these turbines would be perilously close to us.”

Mrs Plunkett said the three East Berwick houses, along with West Berwick Farm, would be within “spitting distance” of one of the new turbines.

“It’s less than 400 metres away,” said Mrs Plunkett. “One of the reasons the last application was rejected because the turbines could be seen from Bolton Abbey. So now they’ve dropped the contours further down the valley which means the turbines would be closer to us.

“The noise, shadow flicker and strobing of the current turbines affects our lives day and night. They work 85 per cent of the time, which is relentless and merciless.”

Catherine Leigh, of East Berwick Farm, said: “These turbines will be going around at 180mph and one would only be 20 metres from the tip of the blade to the track used to access our homes.

“There are also some horrific examples of projectiles coming from turbines. It’s terrifying for us and is sheer irresponsible planning.”

Mrs Plunkett and Catherine’s daughter-in-law, Vanessa Leigh, of East Berwick Barn, are also objecting to the plans because they say the turbines would restrict the play of their young children.

Vanessa said: “These fields are their playground and the turbines would take away their right to have a happy childhood.”

Mrs Plunkett added: “This area is such a lovely place to be and there are lot of children running around at the moment.

“It’s just feels like we’ve been ridden roughshod over. It would be nice if they took some consideration of our views, but we haven’t been consulted one bit.”

A previous plan for two 125m turbines was rejected by Craven District Council in 2009 after strong opposition from residents.

But Kelda carried out a consultation exercise last year over its new proposals and said the feedback at a public exhibition and comments session held in nearby Addingham was “generally positive”.

Speaking at last Wednesday’s Addingham Parish Council meeting, Mark Fox, of KWS, discounted the possibility of siting turbines miles from the pumping station, saying a lot power would be lost over the transfer distance.

Even in the current position, he said the proposed turbines would only provide up to 50 per cent of the power needed for the nearby pumping stations.

Addingham Parish Council agreed to raise concerns with Craven District Council, but it is not formally asking the authority to reject the plans. Draughton Parish Council, however, has lodged an objection.

Source:  Craven Herald & Pioneer, www.cravenherald.co.uk 4 April 2011

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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