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.

25 February 2007

How to Object to the Proposal

The more individual people that object, the better chance there will be of stopping this scheme. You must submit your objections in writing to:

Doncaster Planning Department
2nd Floor, Danum House
St. Sepulchre Gate
Doncaster
DN1 1UB


Quote the following application reference number: 07/00445/FULA.

Make it clear that you are objecting to the scheme and state your own personal reasons for objecting.

Letters must be registered by no later than the 16th March 2007.

Please encourage friends and neighbours to object. Family members should send a letter each.

Alternatives to the Marr Wind Farm

Marr and Melton Wood Action Group ask you to consider the following:

  • That Doncaster already has a large scale ‘clean-power’ generation scheme in development at the old Hatfield Main Colliery site. This will produce massive clean-power from the borough – swamping the intermittent output from the proposed Marr Wind Farm. The scheme will also generate 350 jobs – adding value to the local economy.
  • Backing the recommendations of the Renewable Energy Foundation that has called for larger scale Wind Farms to be suitably sited in off-shore locations.
  • Take steps to reduce your own domestic energy consumption and carbon footprint. Follow the lead of David Bellamy who observes that the single act of using low energy light bulbs would totally remove the need for Wind Farms in the UK.
  • Lobby your local councillors and MPs to show leadership by reducing energy consumption within government and local authority buildings.

10 Reasons to Object to the Wind Farm Proposal

1. The Location of the Site

  • The site is located in an area of green-belt designated as having ‘Great Landscape Value’ (source Doncaster Unitary Development Plan), where development should be restricted in order to ‘protect and enhance valuable features.
  • The site lies adjacent to Melton Wood Country Park, local footpaths and bridleways and hence compromises a key local amenity that is enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse-riders
  • The site lies in close proximity to conservation villages and important country houses at Hickleton and Brodsworth. English Heritage have already firmly objected to the scheme
  • At 125m, the wind turbines will be amongst the tallest erected in the UK. They will be seen predominantly from local conservation villages and for miles around Doncaster and the Dearne Valley

2. Safety Concerns

  • The towers are set-back just 200m either side of Hangman Stone Road and 500m from the busy A635. There is a high risk of distraction to motorists
  • This also contravenes guidance from the British Horse Society that recommends that wind turbines should not be located closer than 500m from lanes or bridleways

3. Noise Levels

  • The nearest residential property will be just 850m from a Wind Turbine. The UK Noise Association have lobbied for a minimum 1.5km stand-off and Retaxa (a German Wind-Turbine Manufacturer) quote a minimum stand-off of 2km.
  • Banks claim that the Wind Turbines will not cause ‘significant disturbance’. However, the noise levels in Melton Wood and nearby footpaths and bridleway are shown as being high.

4. Flicker Effect

  • Blade flicker can cause health issue. Banks have not addressed the effects, propose ‘no mitigation’ and claim they will ‘review during operation of the scheme’ – by which point it will be TOO LATE.

5. The area will become a ‘Brown-Field Site’

  • The turbines require 720 tonnes of concrete foundations 18m x 18m square x 3.5m deep. 2km of permanent 5m wide hard track will need to be constructed. The site will also house a site control building, electrical sub-station and 80m wind monitoring tower.

6. Local Disruption During Construction

  • To construct the site, Banks predict an average of 29 vehicle movements per day. Some of these will require road closures and the disruption to the already busy A635 will be considerable.

7. The Scheme is neither Efficient nor Economic

  • Banks claim that the Turbines will generate electricity for 85% of the time. An independent report from the Renewable Energy Foundation has shown that Wind Farms in England operate for no more that 25% of the time throwing into doubt the credibility of the Marr scheme. By its nature, wind power is intermittent and the scheme will not reduce the amount of main stream power generation required
  • The subsidy for Wind Turbine generation stands around £45.50 per megawatt hour and a total cost of £140 per megawatt hour to the consumer. By comparison, the Hatfield Main ‘clean coal’ scheme will generate power at £40 per megawatt hour. Without subsidies, Wind Farm schemes would not be viable. Be wary that Wind Farms are proposed for commercial and not environmental reasons.


8. There will need to be a further planning application for power lines and Highway Works

  • Banks have not included a planning application for overhead powerlines linking the site to the existing electricity grid. As such, it is uncertain where these will be routed and the impact that they will have.
  • For heavy loads, Banks have also indicated that there will need to be ‘highways improvements’ in Marr at the junction of the A635 and Blacksmith’s Lane. A planning application for this within the Marr conservation area and an existing traffic accident hot-spot, have not been submitted.


9. House prices will be effected

  • The development is likely to have an adverse impact on house prices. Banks maintain that prices recover in the long term, but this is small comfort to residents, some of who may become ‘trapped’, unable to recoup the current market value of their property.

10. This may not be the end of it!

  • Banks have refused to give assurances that they would not make future applications to expand the site. Remember that their original plans were for eight Wind Turbines and once this scheme has been implemented, it could ease the way for other land adjacent to the proposed site to house yet more.

Banks say they have consulted with residents in Marr. They clearly did not listen as 100% of residents that attended the Marr Village meeting voted against the proposal.

How to get hold of a copy of the 'Non-Technical Summary'

Residents who registered their contact details at the Banks public exhibition at Marr Lodge in September of last year, have been sent a ‘Non-Technical Summary’ outlining the proposal.

If you would like a copy of this, Banks may be contacted on 01740 658500 or e-mail: marr@banksdevelopments.com

17 February 2007

Planning Application Posted

On Feb 8th, Banks submitted a planning application for 4 turbines. They have sent-out details in a summary document to effected house and those people that attended their exhibition at Marr Lodge.

The action group will be meeting soon to scrutinise the planning submission and draw-up a list of objections. Watch this space .....