December 7, 2012

‘Wind turbine has spoiled our village’

by LESLIE JACKSON | Leek Post & TImes | 07/12/2012 |

Resident claims a rural village has been “spoiled” after permission was given for a wind turbine to be erected.

Peak District National Park Authority gave the go ahead for the mast to be erected at on a site south west of Breech House in Waterfall which lies in the village conservation area and close the Peak Park boundary.

The site borders both Waterhouses and Waterfall communities.

The application was submitted earlier this year for the installation of a 5KW Evance R9000 turbine, mounted on a free standing 12 metre (39 feet) galvanised steel tower. The turbine has three blades with a rotor diameter of 5.5. metres (18 feet).

Following the erection of the turbine last week, close neighbour Reg Coates, of Waterfall Lane, Waterhouses, claimed the installation had harmed the picturesque village.

Mr Coates, who ran his own farm in Grindon for many years, said: “I have always supported the Peak Park, but to let this happen in a village like Waterhouses is totally wrong.

“The visual aspects of the area has been spoiled and there will also be noise.

“The turbine is 45 feet high and will not be screened. You can see it from our lounge window and it is only about 150 metres away.”

Mr Coates said the authority had now set a precedent in the area which could result in many more applications.

He added: “The turbine is steel which will give off a reflection when the sun hits it.

“There are also barn owls in the area. There are only 38 pairs left in Staffordshire and two pairs are in Waterfall.

This could affect them.” However, a statement on behalf of applicant Dr Vincent Cooper by Evance Wind Turbines Ltd, states the mast was chosen after taking into account the existing landscape.

It said: “The Evance turbine has been designed to be very quiet. The rotor design and, in particular, the low tip speed, coupled with the direct drive system all ensure the turbine operates as quietly as possible.

“The site has been adsorbed by the local landscape and is largely indistinguishable in the landscape from most mid and distant view points.

“Where it is distinguishable from close vantage points, from the road and from other public right of ways, the design, scale, form of appearance had been selected to ensure that the construction and operation on the proposed site will not be intrusive on the proposed outline.”

Planning officers gave full permission subject to 11 conditions which include landscaping and noise emissions being measured.

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