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Birdsedge windfarm plan attacked by villagers and MP  

Credit:  by Nick Lavigueur, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, www.examiner.co.uk 24 March 2012 ~~

They’re too big and too close!

That’s the message from villagers fighting a windfarm plan near Huddersfield.

Developers, Pure Renewable Energy (PRE), returned to Birdsedge yesterday to display their plans for four 100m (330ft) tall turbines around the village.

The revised plan is a reduction of ten metres (30ft) on the original proposal.

The Newcastle based firm first revealed its intentions to apply to build the Dearne Head Wind Farm in 2009.

In January it said it was going back to the drawing board to scale down its proposal, following advice from Kirklees Council and campaigning by protest group BOLT (Birdsedge and district Opposition to Large wind Turbines).

But at a public consultation at Birdsedge Church Hall yesterday, many people said the changes were not sufficient to ease their concerns.

Alongside the slight height reduction the company has moved two of the turbines slightly further away from the village and vowed to protect any wildlife in the area.

But campaigners are still angry that the closest turbine is only 500m from the church and 650m from the school.

Secretary of BOLT, Steve Ashley, said the group was unimpressed with the modified plan.

He said: “We don’t think it’s sufficiently different from the old application to have any change of position.

“The overwhelming feeling of people who’ve seen the plans is negative.”

Villager, Jacey Bedford, said she thought the site was unsuitable.

She said: “They didn’t go round looking for the best place they just put an advert in Farmer’s Weekly.

“Out of the hundreds of applications they got, they just picked the least bad.

“We’ve already got nine turbines over the hill and some at Blackstone Edge – there’s too many round here.”

Developer, Alan Irvine from PRE, said they had been asked to move the turbines further from housing and said villagers would benefit from an £8,000 per year community fund.

He added: “I understand there are concerns about the visual aspect of it but in my opinion there isn’t a significant visual impact, particularly now we’ve moved the turbines further from the village.

“Wherever you site a windfarm in the UK, there are people who live locally who will object but from my conversations with people I know a lot who don’t object.”

Almost 70 people attended the consultation but some said they had not been notified that it was on.

Having viewed the proposal yesterday, Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell, attacked the plan and said he was appalled at the “shambolic and disingenuous so-called consultation”.

Mr Reevell said he had challenged the organisers why there was no artist’s impression of the scheme and had been told they had “forgotten” that photograph.

He said: “The whole purpose of the event was for Pure Renewable Energy to address the concerns of all Birdsedge residents about the extent to which the turbines will completely dominate the village.

“Despite their exhibition having a number of computer generated photographs depicting how the development would look from a distance, there was nothing to show how it would look from the village itself.

“The only sensible conclusion to draw is that the photograph shows how the turbines do dominate the village so it was deliberately not used.

“The only other explanation is an unimaginable degree of incompetence. “This appears to be an example of profit making at the expense of the people of Birdsedge and their village.

“It is now clear that Mr Irvine won’t listen to the local community but I hope and believe that Kirklees will.”

It is more than two years since Pure Renewable Energy (PRE) revealed plans to put up four 360ft tall wind turbines on land close to the village.

Residents first became aware of the original plan in September 2009 when a wind speed measuring mast was installed on farmland off Windmill Lane, at High Flatts.

A few months later a plan for five turbines was revealed – but this was later scaled back to four.

Almost 600 letters of opposition were received by Kirklees Council about the plan.

The new plan is expected to be submitted some time in April.

Source:  by Nick Lavigueur, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, www.examiner.co.uk 24 March 2012

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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