Wind turbine debate leaves village in a spin

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Campaigners have renewed their fight to stop wind turbines being put up in their village as more companies look to use the alternative energy source.

Last year Arcus Renewable Energy Consulting Ltd was awarded planning permission to put up two turbines on land at Church Farm, south of Gypsy Lane, in Woolley.

But after being challenged by people living near to the site, the decision by Wakefield Council has been quashed.

Now members of the Woolley Wind Turbine Action Group say two more companies are looking to erect another three turbines on fields close to the site between Haw Top and the Windhill Gate Farm complex at Staincross.

People fear the construction of the turbines will disrupt village life as well as causing noise issues once they are up.

Ruth Sheard, of New Road, Woolley, said she felt the council had ignored its “duty to co-operate” with neighbouring authorities such as Barnsley Council, whose objections to the last application were ignored.

And she felt more research should be done on the impact such developments will have on neighbours.

She said: “It is hardly surprising that the residents of both Woolley and Staincross are up in arms. They have a right to expect more detailed evaluations of cumulative noise effects, and more rigorous assessments of cumulative visual impacts by the case officers concerned, and better strategic planning.”

Resident’s association member Richard Dixon and Woolley parish councillor Carol Robson have warned that a decision to approve wind turbines could lead to a “flurry” of applications.

Ian Thomson, service director for planning at Wakefield Council, said: “Following a high court decision planning approval has been quashed and we are aware other companies are interested.

“We are bound by planning law to process any valid applications we may receive and will carry out appropriate public consultation before making a decision.”