Thursday, 27 March 2008

Loscar Windfarm

In December 2004 plans were submitted for a small wind farm consisting of three turbines at Loscar Farm near Harthill, Sheffield .  A change of developer from Npower to Cornwall Light and Power Limited caused some delay and the Planning Board meeting finally took place on 27th March 2008. 

A member of Harthill’s Women’s Institute and Maureen Edwards from Sheffield Friends of the Earth spoke in favour of the application.  Each turbine would be capable of generating 1.3MW of electricity – enough for 2000 homes.  This form of electricity will offset 8,000 tonnes of green house gases that would otherwise take one million trees to remove.  There were several people from the locality spoke against the application with reasons ranging from noise, flickering (sun shining between rotating blades), damage to local bird population and danger to learner flyers from Netherthorpe Airfield.  Several councillors spoke in favour of the application, many referring to the recent flooding in the borough. 

The council has a target of 10.6MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2010 and only 2% of land within the Rotherham boundary is suitable.  3.9MW of this would be produced from this development. Another councillor pointed out that if the Romans had used nuclear power, Harthill would still be dealing with the radioactive waste.  When the turbines are no longer viable they can be moved without a trace.  Only two councillors voted against the application and it was passed.  It now has to go to the government for approval.

Maureen Edwards commented: ”This is terrific news. Harthill and the surrounding area will be assured a localised supply of energy for many years to come.  Their children and grandchildren may not have to suffer devastating climate change as a result of this decision today.  It is strange to be thanked by the developer for speaking on their behalf but I sincerely thank Cornwall Light and Power and Mr and Mrs Wilks for persisting with this application.  The turbines will be a majestic sight in a few years’ time and I look forward to watching them turn.”