Storm blows up over wind farm changes

Martin Williams.
Martin Williams.
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WIND turbines on the edge of Doncaster are at the centre of fresh controversy over plans to extend their use.

When planning permission was given for the Tween Bridge wind farm, despite a residents’ campaign against the development, there were restrictions placed on them which stopped them operating in very low wind speeds.

But now Doncaster Council has been asked to lifting the rule which prevents the turbines running when the wind speed is slower than four metres per second.

The matter is due to go before the council’s planning committee next Tuesday.

The change is being proposed because the operator is planning to change the turbines for a different model, believed to be quieter.

The purpose of the condition was to ensure the turbines do not operate when wind speeds are at their lowest, when the noise from the turbines would be likely to be louder than noise from the wind.

Thorne councillor Martin Williams has told planning officials he is concerned the application does not go along with the decision made by an inspector at a public inquiry into the wind farm.

Coun Williams said residents should be protected from noise levels resulting from wind speeds below four metres per second.

There have been 26 letters of objection to the new plans, including one from the Thorne and District Wind Farm Advisory Group.

Objectors have suggested a trial period to assess the impact of the new turbines.

Thorne and Moorends Town Council has also objected to the extension.

Planning officers are recommending the change is approved, but they have suggested two turbines close to houses are switched off at speeds under seven metres per second.

Their report said: “A change in the type of wind turbine and a greater knowledge of the levels of noise from wind farms has shown that operation of the turbines at wind speeds of less than four miles per second will not harm the amenity of nearby residents.”