A controversial wind turbine plan in Chesterfield has been recommended for approval despite concerns it will overshadow the town’s Crooked Spire as a blot on the landscape.
Kelda Water Services – which is a sister company of Yorkshire Water – submitted a planning application to Chesterfield Borough Council for an 84 metre high wind turbine, sub-station and foundations near Old Whittington Waste Water Treatment Works, off Station Lane.
The council recommended the turbine should get the go-ahead after considering objections from residents, Chesterfield Civic Society and Chesterfield Canal Trust that it will be noisy, pose a threat to wildlife and be an eyesore along a landscape that features the town’s iconic St Mary’s and All Saints’ Church spire.
Yvette Marsden, of Old Whittington, said: “I’ve been against the turbine but always feared it would be approved. Everyone is in favour of green energy – which I am – but we don’t want this kind of wind turbine that will be taller than the Crooked Spire and will be unsightly.
“I live very close to the site and it will be a nuisance to me and I am also concerned what will happen if one of its blades comes off. If green energy is the way forward there has to be more legislation to protect others from the impact.”
A total of 27 letters of objection were submitted to the council citing a range of concerns including fears the turbine will dominate the landscape and compete with the Crooked Spire, pose dangers to wildlife, be noisy and create shadow flicker.
Chesterfield Civic Society and Chesterfield Canal Trust objected to the application on the grounds the turbine would be unsightly for the Rother Valley area and present safety concerns for walkers, cyclists and boaters.
And a petition with 208 signatures argued the turbine will harm the skyline and signatories stressed they did not want it so near to their homes.
The council did however receive many supporting letters arguing the turbine will tackle climate change, reduce the area’s carbon footprint and provide an environmentally friendly and alternative form of energy.
Derbyshire County Council, English Heritage, Natural England, the Environment Agency and others raised no objections to the application which was considered at a council planning committee meeting on December 15.
A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesman stated: “Nationally renewable energy developments are strongly supported and the council has a clear commitment to addressing climate change.”
The council concluded the benefit of the development with renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions outweighed the perceived negative visual impacts of the development so it recommended that permission for the turbine be granted.
Kelda Water Services has stated that the proposed turbine will be used to power the Old Whittington Waste Water Treatment Works which treats and processes sewage from around 100,000 customers in Chesterfield.