Gale of protest over wind turbines plan for green belt

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An environmental protection group is being set up for the Ewden Valley in the north of Sheffield amid widespread opposition to two proposed wind turbines.

Protests are growing over the impact on the green belt if the 34.5 metre structures are erected on farmland between Bolsterstone and Deepcar.

More than 90 objections have been lodged with the city council, and just under 200 people attended a public meeting at which it was decided to set up a protection group.

“The overwhelming majority was against,” said John Hesketh, a former city planning chairman, who chaired the meeting. “”What came across loud and clear is that there are a lot of people who use the area, such as anglers and ramblers. The campaign is very broad based. It is not just residents.”

Many of the Ewden Valley critics support the generation of green energy, but oppose the location in this instance.

Ian Warby, who chairs Stocksbridge and Deepcar Monday Walkers, says: “The area is recognised as one giving access to a range of outstanding views, and is a particularly peaceful place, treasured by many of the local population of Stocksbridge and Deepcar. Siting just one turbine would destroy the nature of the area completely.”

Another objector is telling the council: “This is an area of natural beauty within the green belt, much enjoyed by walkers and bird watchers. The proposed height of the turbines along the horizon will make them visible from Bolsterstone, Brightholmlee, Deepcar, Wharncliffe Side and further afield.”

Another critic says: “I fear that if this is to be approved it would pave the way for further development in the surrounding area and the nearby National Peak Park. It is situated near a local nature reserve and one must fear for the impact upon the wildlife in the area.

“This is green belt land and should be left that way without these ugly constructions. They will spoil the view of what is a beautiful area.

Wind turbine suppliers Earthmill say the impact on the openness of the green belt would be “minimal”.

And they are telling the council that the “overriding benefits” of the turbines in addressing climate change outweigh green belt policy.

There are several submissions to the council in support.

A Midhopestones resident says: “I see a farmer running a farming business with a high energy consumption and he is doing his bit to reduce the carbon footprint and trying to keep food prices down for everyone in the country.

“Turbines are not noisy, this is just a myth. They are pleasant to look at and people who visit the countryside expect to see wind turbines like you see in the rest of rural Yorkshire. I would love to play golf on the nearby golf course and watch the turbines rotating.”

City’s biggest turbine row

The wind turbines application for Hollin Edge Farm, off Common Lane, is set to be the biggest controversy over the proposed erection of wind turbines in Sheffield.

City councillors are expected to decide next month whether there are exceptional circumstances to justify the development in the green belt, especially in helping to counter climate change.