Tories want tougher rules over location of wind farms

CONSERVATIVE politicians fighting plans for wind turbines on the hills above Huddersfield have called for stricter rules on where they can be sited.

Kirklees Conservatives have submitted a motion to a meeting of the council calling for greater controls over the siting of wind turbines.

The motion calls on the council to urge the Government to introduce statutory guidance implementing a one kilometre (1,093 yard) "setback" from residential property for turbines higher than 100 metres (327ft).

It also calls on Kirklees Council to review its development strategy in relation to wind turbines and seeks discussions with neighbouring councils to identify common ground in relation to the siting of turbines.

Denby Dale councillor Jim Dodds said: "There are undoubtedly benefits to the environment in the harnessing of wind power, but they must be sited sensibly.

"Noise and 'shadow flicker' are areas of concern to residents where turbines are sited too close to their properties, and breakdown and missile throw are genuine problems which need to be addressed.

"Some may say it is scaremongering to highlight these latter problems, but a quick scan of the internet provides plenty of evidence of turbines falling over, blades falling off, catching fire and even exploding.

"There are clearly dangers from turbines and our motion calls for a minimum 1km setback from residential property to reduce risks and lessen the impact of the turbines on residents and communities.

"Scotland and other parts of Europe have a 2km setback, so calling for a 1km setback is not unreasonable, and I hope we will gain support for our proposals from other political groups on the council. The motion also calls on the council to review its LDF (local development framework) core strategy following the ongoing consultation to better reflect these concerns over wind turbine siting, and we must also liaise with other councils and encourage them to introduce similar proposals."

Opposition to wind turbine schemes in Huddersfield has been vociferous.

In Birdsedge, plans have been submitted for four large wind turbines. Residents say the closest house would be 450 metres away.