Kelham water wheel set to roll again

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News: The Star - bringing you news on-line 24-hours a day.

A COMMUNITY initiative to generate electricity from a water wheel at Kelham Island looks like moving forward.

Proposals to install a new wheel where an old one used to operate off Alma Street have won the support of council planners, despite anglers’ worries that it could disturb fish in the River Don. Planners say there is likely to be some impact but fish and amphibians should be able to adapt to new water levels.

They will recommend on Monday that councillors approve an application from Sheffield Community Renewables for a micro-hydro system that would generate electricity, either linked to the national grid or directly to businesses such as Kelham Island Industrial Museum or Kelham Island Brewery. Other issues include noise affecting residents of nearby apartments but councillors are being advised that there are no major problems with any aspect of the scheme.

The Government’s Environment Agency is raising no objections on ecological grounds.

A council report says: “The proposal is considered to represent a modern interpretation of a traditional means to generate power that is reminiscent of Kelham Island’s industrial heritage.”

Concerns are being raised by the Angling Trust and the Don Catchment Rivers Trust but local councillor Jillian Creasy says the scheme is in keeping with the traditions of the area.