Marr and Melton Wood Action Group

On Wednesday 27th September 2006, Banks Developments unveiled a plan to construct between four and seven 125m wind turbines on green-belt farm land opposite the village of Marr in South Yorkshire. This blog will chart the progress of the local movement as it fights to oppose the scheme.

08 November 2006

British Horse Society

No less than three public bridleways run through the proposed site.

The British Horse Society (BHS) has produced an Advisory Statement (No.20) regarding the siting of Wind Farms (see link opposite). The BHS adopted a policy in 1995 which recommended a minimum distance between the base of any turbine and the nearest equestrian route, of 200m. However that distance was arrived at when the average height of proposed turbines was between 40 – 50 metres. The ones proposed by Banks are 125 metres !

The BHS notes that it is essential that a formula is identified which will calculate the minimum safe distance, based on the actual height of the turbine. (It can be assumed that if 200m was a minimum distance from a 50m turbine, then the minimum distance from a 125m turbine should be in the region of 500m.) The BHS goes on to suggest that the minimum distance should be at least three times the height of a turbine.

If this was adhered to then the turbines would not fit into the proposed site.

If the proposals went ahead regardless, then the bridleways would become unsafe and therefore unuseable, especially in the 12-18 month building phase. Developers have been known to wish to use bridleways for access to the wind farm site during the construction phase. The Society is opposed to such use.

The Society fears that the heavy vehicles use of unsurfaced routes may result in irreversible damage and planning authorities are asked to take this into account. Any permission should be subjected to specific conditions regarding maintenance and reinstatement and these should be enshrined within the planning consent.

Planning Policy Guidance Note 7 (PPG 7), The Countryside – Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development makes a positive statement about horse riding and gives advice on the need to consider the impact of proposed developments on public rights of way (para. 3.13).

In view of this guidance the Society believes it ought to be consulted on any planning cases which may impact on equestrian use of or condition of a public rights of way.

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