Wind turbine homes threat

A PROPOSED 120-metre wind turbine would knock 50 per cent off the value of thousands of nearby homes, an action group claims.

Save Our Skyline (SOS) was formed in response to a planned turbine taller than Wakefield Cathedral at Coca Cola's warehouse at Wakefield 41 Industrial Park.

SOS claims 3,800 homes within a mile radius would see 54 per cent knocked of their value by the turbine.

The information comes from a recent study by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

The 90-strong group has also raised possible health risks. Founding member Mike Grout, 58, said low-frequency noise from turbines could lead to sleep deprivation and depression in those living nearby, according to a 2007 report into health risks from turbines by the University of Salford.

The former RAF pilot, of Lawns Court, Carr Gate, said: "There has been a lot of research carried out, but unfortunately none of it is used in government guidelines.

"We are not anti-renewable energy. We are anti the policy of random, poorly planned, and poorly researched siting of these structures without thought for the local communities involved."

He hoped Wakefield Council would conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment into the proposal when a planning application was submitted.

Coca Cola is working with green energy firm Ecotricity on the scheme, which it says would save up to 1,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, equivalent to 600 car miles.

Dale Vince, managing director of Ecotricity, said: "The truth about wind energy today is that well-designed projects, properly sited, don't cause problems for neighbours. With wind energy there is really only one residual impact to discuss, the fact that you can see them.

"To some people this is a good thing and to others it is not. To most people they are graceful, rather beautiful structures that are doing a very important job for us all. We need to look at the bigger picture and be concerned about where the UK is going to get its energy in the future. We are at the beginning of a global energy crisis, wind is an indigenous fuel source and we need to be using it much more."