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

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.

22 Comments:

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Seawinds said...

You are full of mis-information. Wind farms do generate electricity for 85% of the time. Throughout a whole year the average generation is 25% of their maximum possible output. The 25% figure is the output of their TOTAL POSSIBLE CAPACITY. Wind energy is becoming cheaper every year and is CHEAPER THAN COAL if environmental destruction from coal pollutants is accounted for. There is enough grid capacity to comfortable handle 25% wind generated electricity because power stations can cut back their coal burning on windy days. Denmark has broken the 40% barrier of wind generated electricity for their country. If you are posting information at least have an open, honest and factually accurate debate.

 
At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Sophie said...

So...the figures given by "seawinds" are factual ? I think they are misleading. Wind farms can't produce anything unless it is windy (and a particular strength of wind at that !). So... is it windy 85% of the time ? No, and certainly not in this area !
However, this is not the focus of the debate - it is the SITING which is being objected to, and still would be even if turbines were efficient 100% of the time !!

 
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