This is an archived press release
Tuesday 23 September 2008
23 September 2008
Wind farm proposal opposed by National Park planners
The Peak District National Park planning committee is strongly opposed to plans for a five-turbine wind farm just outside the national park boundary.
The committee was making its recommendations to Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, which is likely to consider the application for a wind farm on Sheephouse Heights, between Penistone and Stocksbridge, in early 2009.
The committee’s view, after a site visit, was that the five 125 metre-high turbines would be a dominating visual intrusion, harming the Peak District landscape, spoiling people’s enjoyment and impacting on the rural economy.
Anne Ashe, who chaired the committee, said: “Members of the committee felt that having five wind turbines at this location would have a dramatic effect on the wilderness on the edge of the national park.
“We do support renewable energy schemes and have approved several individual wind turbines in the past.
“But we have to look at these applications on a case-by-case basis to see what impact they will have, both individually and collectively. In this case we feel the impact would be too great.”
The committee also expressed deep concern about the combined impact of other wind-farms in the area - 13 turbines at Royd Moor, three at Hazlehead, plus another five proposed for Spicer Hill and three for Blackstone Edge.
The site of the latest proposal is 2.6 km outside the national park boundary, across the Stocksbridge Valley, but it is a continuation of the same Pennine landscape, known as the ‘backbone of England’.
Earlier this month, a planning inspector approved a wind-farm at Carsington Pastures, near Ashbourne - which the National Park Authority also opposed because of the impact on the national park’s special qualities.
But head of planning Bob Bryan advised: “This is a totally different situation from Carsington, where there is a definite dividing line in landscape-character along the national park boundary. At Sheephouse Heights there is a clear continuity - it is all part of the same landscape.”