Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sixpennywood Wind Farm Access Road Saga Continues

The Sixpennywood wind farm saga continues to rumble on, and agreement has still not been reached over access to the site near Howden, as this coming week Howdenshire residents look to try and fight off two other wind farm developers proposing to build wind farms at each side of Spaldington, a village also near Howden. The battle commences at the Planning Appeal Public Inquiry beginning in Goole on 24th May.

This past week I was proud to join Balkholme residents, Parish Councillors, and representatives of the ‘Sixpennywood Not’ anti-wind farm group on a site meeting with representatives of wind farm developer ‘Your Energy’ and a Government appointed Planning Inspector. The purpose of the visit was to look at the piece of land being offered by the developer as ‘Common Land’ as a replacement for a piece of ‘Common Land’ they wish to take in order to construct the wind farm access road.

I really struggle with the idea that an area forming a rectangle of some 500 square meters is to be taken, and replaced with a strip ‘43cm wide by over a 1km long’.

The consultation reply from the British Horse Society sums it up very well:

“The replacement land is of inferior quality, being at the edge of a deep dangerous drain, overgrown with trees and shrubs and what is to all purposes the rough ground where the drain is cleaned out onto.

The land proposed as replacement is not as stated on the 'edge of agricultural land ' and a less than half a metre strip of 'waste' can hardly reciprocate for the present common.

The consultation on this proposal was poor and the maps wholly inadequate and the equestrians feel that the scheme could go ahead with a permit to work on the common without the need to de-register it”.

Is this really the best Your Energy can come up with? Why instead could a useful area of land (of 500 square meters) not be provided for community use?

The Planning Inspector has my sympathies here, because it is a question of what is technically right and what is morally right.

The other point is that the access road, if given the go ahead, will have to cross a bridleway, well used by local people - especially on horseback. Your Energy is applying to close a 12m section of this bridleway for a period of 6 months during the construction of the wind Farm. Apparently, due to the risks posed to public safety.

Once the construction period is complete, the bridleway will be re-opened and access will remain as it currently exists but with an access track, constructed of compacted stone surface, crossing the bridleway for the operational lifetime of the wind farm (25 years).

The British Horse Society has also raised points about this, and I for one would not like to see the bridleway closed or significantly diverted. A compromise is certainly possible here.

I also struggle with why the access to construct this wind farm was not part of the original planning application. It this yet another example of ‘Your Energy’ playing fast and loose with the feelings of local residents and the system?


John Jessop said...

Lets be quite straight about the response from the BHS. They are totally against the idea of replacing the existing green lane surface with hard road-standard surfacing where the proposed road crosses the route. They are also against the idea of closing the bridleway for the duration of the works. At the meeting we were given the erroneous impression that the BHS had been consulted and the fact that the response was very firm opposition was concealed.
Closing the bridleway is also a no-no as a scheme of traffic lights could easily be employed for the duration of the works. We need to make sure this is made the case when the closing order is applied for to ERYC.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The site visit was not concerned with the finances of the project, but without the highly subsidised price the energy companies will get for producing wind power the whole project would be dead in the water. Also when the power is needed in winter the wind speed to produce it is notoriously absent. In the warmer months when the power is not needed the wind does blow. I understand the equation is loaded in the generators favour because if the wind blows and power "could" be produced but the grid cannot use it then the companies are paid for the notional power they could have exported. - What a ludicrous set-up! Only Blair and the Global Warming brigade could come up with such garbage. Repeal the Climate change legislation and withdraw from the stupid agreements we are signed up for - you know it makes sense!

For England and St George said...

Remember the farmer who refused to allow the M62 to go over his farmhouse? He got his way!

Anonymous said...

The enquiry will approve the planned wind farm, I predict.
The Spaldington plan will be defeated, not by the enquiry , but by pure logic.
You put wind farms where there is wind, you place where there are few people and open space.
The illogic people of Spaldington are privileged people that wish to retain their privileged domain.
Horse riders are often the same crowd that would love to kill the foxes for pleasure and live in these privileged villages. Well was it not Maggie that shut the mines from which we got the coal, now we need security of power. Was it not Maggie that said we could buy oil cheaper than British Coal.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what anonymous wants to say. What the devil does Margaret Thatcher have to do with two wind companies wanting to make the lives of the people of Spaldingtons lives hell? It was the lunatic Blair and his devils spawn Brown who signed up to unrealistic carbon reduction promises based on pseudo science, which is only now starting to be realised to be mostly biassed claptrap. Of course the truth is much slower to be adopted in its wake. Remember the adage "a lie can run right the way round the world while truth is still putting its boots on."