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Blow to wind farm protesters

Protesters campaigning against a wind farm in the countryside straddling Barnsley and Sheffield have been dealt a blow with a fresh council report which suggests the benefits of the scheme would outweigh the visual impact. The planning application for the five turbines, which would be 400ft tall, has gone to Barnsley Council because the land where they would be sited at Sheephouse Heights falls within the town's boundaries. But they would be so close to the border with Sheffield that the council there has been asked to comment before the application is considered.

Protesters campaigning against a wind farm in the countryside straddling Barnsley and Sheffield have been dealt a blow with a fresh council report which suggests the benefits of the scheme would outweigh the visual impact.

The planning application for the five turbines, which would be 400ft tall, has gone to Barnsley Council because the land where they would be sited at Sheephouse Heights falls within the town's boundaries.

But they would be so close to the border with Sheffield that the council there has been asked to comment before the application is considered.

Planning officials have assessed the impact on the area if the development goes ahead and have compiled a report which highlights the negative visual impact on a nearby conservation area.

They say that is not enough to warrant a formal objection to the scheme, however, and Sheffield Council is now being recommended to submit the report to its neighbour in Barnsley, which will eventually make a decision on the application.

Officials accept there will be a visual impact on the area if the five 400ft-tall turbines are constructed and their report states: "The application does not appear to have taken into... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Protesters campaigning against a wind farm in the countryside straddling Barnsley and Sheffield have been dealt a blow with a fresh council report which suggests the benefits of the scheme would outweigh the visual impact.

The planning application for the five turbines, which would be 400ft tall, has gone to Barnsley Council because the land where they would be sited at Sheephouse Heights falls within the town's boundaries.

But they would be so close to the border with Sheffield that the council there has been asked to comment before the application is considered.

Planning officials have assessed the impact on the area if the development goes ahead and have compiled a report which highlights the negative visual impact on a nearby conservation area.

They say that is not enough to warrant a formal objection to the scheme, however, and Sheffield Council is now being recommended to submit the report to its neighbour in Barnsley, which will eventually make a decision on the application.

Officials accept there will be a visual impact on the area if the five 400ft-tall turbines are constructed and their report states: "The application does not appear to have taken into account the impact on any of the consideration areas which lie within the Sheffield boundary. The area of most concern is the Midhopestones conservation area.

"This view is already adversely affected by electricity pylons and power lines crossing the skyline.

"One of the features that justifies Midhopestones' designation as a conservation area is the open rural character and the setting of terraces on sloping land within a sheltered valley above the River Porter, with extensive views eastwards and westwards along the valley.

"The proposals will have a detrimental impact on the setting and extensive views from the higher and open parts of the conservation area.

"The electricity pylons already have an adverse effect, but the turbines will be more prominent.

"On balance, given the renewable energy benefits of theproposals, the existence of the electricity pylons and power lines and the distance from the conservation area, it is not considered that these concerns about the impact on the setting and the views from the conservation area merit a formal objection to the proposals."

The report accepts it will also be possible to see the turbines from a conservation area at Bolsterstone, but that would be more distant, leaving them appearing small enough on the horizon "to have no adverse effect on the conservation area".

An environmental statement about the proposals has identified that a small number of properties could be affected by noise, but none is within Sheffield and there would be no problems with "flicker" caused by shadows from the blades within the city boundaries.

The report states there are "concerns over the impact of the proposal, but not sufficient to recommend objecting".

Objectors have been campaigning for months against the application, which would contribute towards the region's renewable energy output. All areas have been set targets by the Government to increase the amount of green energy they produce.

The company behind the application, Evelop, states the wind farm would be able to supply electricity for 9,000 homes and would have a life-span of 25 years.

Sheephouse Heights had been selected as a location because there was a good source of "harvestable" wind there.


Source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co...

SEP 23 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17186-blow-to-wind-farm-protesters
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