Love them or hate them?
Wind farms are controversial. Our view is that we need a certain number of them if we are to provide enough clean, renewable energy to avert the worst impacts of climate change on our precious countryside.
Where do we stand?
We support appropriately scaled wind farm proposals in less sensitive landscapes where they are needed to help meet agreed local, regional and national planning targets. In the past three years we have supported windfarm proposals at:
- Crow Edge near Barnsley
- Marr near Doncaster
- Hampole near Doncaster
- Ulley near Rotherham
- plus other domestic scale turbines
At each of these sites we judged that the benefit of providing local green energy trumped even the large and usually negative impact on the landscape. For more information, please read our policy about climate change and energy.
At the same time, we have opposed the following wind farms because we judged that they would have been too damaging to nearby high-quality landscapes:
- Blackstone Edge near Barnsley
- Sheephouse Heights near Barnsley
- Tween Bridge near Thorne Moors, Doncaster
- Plus a series of medium-sized, farm based turbines on the edges of Sheffield
Mapping the best places for green power
We're concerned that there's no strategic approach in South Yorkshire to planning the best places for windfarms and other forms of green power. We are lobbying the local authorities to be more proactive in mapping the capacity of their countryside to include different types of renewable energy.
We also want to encourage local communities to come forward with their own plans for generating green energy. For example, a community wind farm just south of Bolsover is currently being planned by local organisations who will plough all profits back into the community. This is the kind of scheme we'd love to see in South Yorkshire.
Wind isn't the only green answer!
We are also lobbying hard for a better mix of renewable power projects in South Yorkshire. There are plenty of places where other green energy schemes could work, such as:
- hydro power (Rotherham Council has just approved several schemes on the Don)
- biomass power stations (Sheffield City Council has approved one at Blackburn Meadows)
- anaerobic digestion (burning methane given off by decomposing farm waste)
There is also much work that needs to be done to cut our energy useage - and some of this can be achieved by better planning, including
- industrial and residential developments meeting stringent new energy standards
- finding new ways of travelling less
- moving goods or people in greener ways like rail or electric cars
For more information, please contact Andy Tickle