January 9, 2012

Wind turbine plan in green belt stirs parish council objection

Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 9 January 2012

A parish council is objecting to plans to build a new wind turbine which would provide energy to a milking parlour at a farm in a rural area of South Yorkshire.

Members of Barnsley Council will decide the planning application for the turbine, on Snowden Hill between Stocksbridge and Penistone, at a committee meeting tomorrow.

The site, at Highwells Farm, has views to the south of the Peak District National Park and lies in designated green belt land off Tenter Lane, around 1km from Stocksbridge and 3km from Penistone town centre.

A previous planning application for the 24.6m wind turbine was submitted last year, but withdrawn after council planning officials raised concerns about the turbine’s “elevated location”.

It is intended that the turbine would provide 190,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) of energy each year, of which 70,000 kwh would be used to power the milking parlour.

At present, the milking business uses just half that amount of energy, but the farmer plans to double the size of the facility.

In the application to Barnsley Council, the applicant’s agent Earthmill Ltd says the “Endurance” turbine would “enable the client to become further self-sufficient and protect him from almost inevitable rising energy costs in the future”.

The application adds: “In addition to justifying the new Endurance turbine to meet peak energy demands, it is also worth noting that our client is looking to further increase his demand for renewable energy in the context of an additional milking parlour.

“Although this would not match the output generated from the proposed turbine, the client’s current and future energy demands far exceed the amount that would be generated by a smaller turbine that, on average for this wind speed, would generate only 25,000 kwh.

“The Endurance will go a long way in delivering a more dependable supply and help satisfy the farm’s peak energy needs.”

Although the site lies within the green belt, which is subject to special planning regulations, town planners at Barnsley Council have recommended that permission for the wind turbine is granted at tomorrow’s meeting.

This is despite the fact that an objection has come from Hunshelf Parish Council, which has accused Barnsley Council of being “inconsistent” in its approach to granting planning consent for wind turbines

In their letter of objection, a spokesman for Hunshelf Parish Council said: “We note that this application is similar to a previous withdrawn one, but this one is much nearer the road and therefore would be likely to be more visually intrusive when viewed from the roadside.

“The proposed wind turbine would result in significant harm to the character and appearance of the nearby Peak District National Park and is still too close to residential properties in Snowden Hill.”

The parish council spokesman added that they were concerned about the possible noise created by the turbine, which could impact on people living in nearby properties.

However, town planners say that the creation of renewable energy adds “significant weight” to the application.

In their report, which will go before tomorrow’s meeting, the planning officials say: “The turbine is sensitively sited and would be viewed against the backdrop of the hillside.

“It would not significantly harm views from the surrounding green belt countryside.

“It is therefore considered that very special circumstances have been demonstrated to outweigh the harm by reason of inappropriateness.”

School revamp plan pondered

AT tomorrow’s planning committee meeting, members of Barnsley Council will also consider redeveloping the former Ward Green Primary School in Worsborough as a care home for the elderly.

The proposed care home would have 62 beds and provide up to 53 jobs.

Four letters of objection have been submitted in relation to the plans, which have been recommended for approval.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/01/09/wind-turbine-plan-in-green-belt-stirs-parish-council-objection/