Residents still angry over wind turbine proposals

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OPPOSITION to plans to site four wind turbines in a pretty Pennine village is as intense as ever more than two years after the plans were first mooted, a councillor claimed yesterday.

Pure Renewable Energy’s plans to put up four 360ft tall turbines on land close to Birdsedge were revealed in September 2009.

But since then hundreds of letters of objection to the plans have been received by Kirklees Council and just two letters of support, according to a local group set up to fight the plans, Birdsedge and District Opposition to Large Turbines, (BOLT).

Now Kirklees councillor Jim Dodds, (Con, Denby Dale), says he expects the company to put in a new application within weeks.

He said: “Despite all the opposition from local residents the company was of the opinion that it didn’t matter and they were still going to put them in.

“Feelings are still running high and there are a large number of objections - the most resonant being that they would be in too close proximity to the village.”

Other concerns expressed include noise fears, worries over the ‘flicker effect’ - an effect similar to the flicker people may experience when driving if the low winter sun is shining through the car window.

There are also anxieties over them breaking down, being damaged in storms or catching fire.

Coun Dodds added: “I think we have to look at the whole issue of wind farms because there is an increasing body of scientific opinion that they are not efficient. We all want green energy but don’t want to blight the landscape.

“Once these things are erected they are in there for 25 years. Residents are optimistic that they can do it, they feel that there are enough people objecting and that the realisation is growing more and more that wind turbines are not the answer.”

A spokesman for BOLT said: “There are only about 180 addresses in the village so the number of letters received by Kirklees opposing these plans reflects the overwhelming opposition to them.

“I understand the latest plans have reduced the size of the turbines by 10 metres and moved their location slightly. My impression is that the company will constantly modify their application until they get something.

“We can only hope that it becomes economically unattractive for them to embark on such an investment and that the government reduces its subsidies.”

Coun Graham Turner, (Lab, Denby Dale), said: “Currently there is a moratorium on wind turbines being erected in Kirklees while an investigation takes place into the ones that were damaged during the last storm.”

A spokesman for Pure Renewable Energies said the company “intends to submit a planning application for the proposed Dearne Head Wind Farm in the near future.”