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Will wind turbine approval open the floodgates?

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: March 21, 2012

By Gareth Butterfield

Comments (6)

MEMBERS of Ashbourne’s planning authority fear more applications to erect wind turbines in the area could flood in after they approved two projects in the same meeting.

Work is due to start on the massive Carsington Pastures wind farm in May, which will see four 100m turbines built near Carsington and plans to build a fifth turbine nearby were given the green light at a meeting last week.

Although planning officers for the Derbyshire Dales District Council insist each application will be made on its own individual merits, members of the Southern Area Planning Committee say they expect more people will be investing in lucrative wind energy over the coming years.

At the meeting on Tuesday evening members discussed and then voted to approve the construction of a 102m wind turbine in Manystones Lane, Brassington for manufacturing firm Viaton Industries.

Although no objections were made by families living in the shadow of the proposed wind turbine, Brassington Parish Council, representing villagers, said there was “little appetite” among residents to engage in “what seems to be a foregone conclusion.” Planners fear that, as with the Carsington Pastures Wind Farm, if they were to refuse the application their decision could be over-turned on appeal and they might have to cover the legal costs.

Although some of the 16 members of the committee were against another massive wind turbine being erected in a remote spot by a small rural community, they confessed to feeling “powerless” and only two members voted against approval.

Debating wind turbines in general during the meeting, some members questioned the economic benefits and overall sustainability of the machines — suggesting that applications might cease if down the line, it was found that wind energy was ineffective.

Also approved at the meeting, held in Ashbourne Leisure Centre’s Community Room, was a smaller project to erect a 27.1m turbine at Gate Farm in Sturston for Vernon Pilkington.

During discussion Ashbourne’s deputy mayor and district councillor Steve Bull voiced his fears over setting a precedent with the Ashbourne turbine and warned residents “could end up with a ridge of them” looking over Ashbourne.

Despite fears that the turbine would be visible from much of Ashbourne’s town centre it was also voted in by a majority of members with only two voting against the plan.

WHAT do you think? Is it time Ashbourne embraced wind energy as a way of decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels? Or are wind turbines simply an unsightly economic non-starter? Please get in touch with your views.

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6 comments

  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 27 2012, 11:37AM

    Wind turbines like the the Toyota Prius cost us all money, (more expensive energy bills for wind, and 3k subsidy for ugly imported vehicles). BUT the real issue is wind turbines are ruining beautiful countryside. Derbyshire's assets are being defaced. Yes we need energy, but at what cost ? Power generation should be at point of need, not in a beauty spot.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 19 2012, 7:05PM

    @Karen Roden are you for real? :) For goodness sake they're windmills - how could a windmill spoil your holiday? They are not going to chase you down the street and try to sell you a fake rolex. They just stand there and spin a little bit. Have you thought about getting some help for a phobia of spinny objects?

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  November 01 2012, 9:36PM

    It is indeed high time we all began to accept and embrace alternative ways of producing electricity and wind turbines are possibly the safest and most effective way of doing this. We cannot continue to pollute our world with fossil fuels, which means that our coal fired power stations must go. The alternative nuclear power stations are a frightening prospect, therefore rendering the wind turbine option one we should all be willing to accept. Personally I find them a visual delight, something quite magical. I do understand why there are concerns about turbines being sited in sensitive areas and perhaps we should consider the siting of wind farms alongside our motorways and major trunk roads in the way the French do. Individual turbines have a roll to play in contributing power in smaller, more localised areas and should be supported and encouraged by our planners.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  October 30 2012, 6:20PM

    Karen, turbines are not unreliable. Far from it. They're not perfect either. But then nor is all the gas we buy of Qatar and Russia. Overall, onshore wind is pretty cheap, again not as cheap as the gas, but a lot cheaper than nuclear or other renewables. These things have to go somewhere - fairies don't make all the electricity we need - and as human infrastructure goes, they're pretty elegant.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  May 19 2012, 11:08AM

    Maybe your children's children might look back in years to come when all the fossil fuels are exhausted, and say "we" were the greedy ones.

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  • Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  March 21 2012, 12:21PM

    I don't live in Ashbourne, but it's an area I visit for short breaks with my family. If this beautiful landscape is desecrated by these useless, unreliable turbines, which really only benefit greedy landwoners and even greedier energy companies, then Ashbourne will be one more place crossed off our holiday list!

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