Spondon residents blow hot and cold on wind turbines

December 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

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Residents in part of Derby have mixed feelings about two new 130-metre wind turbines. Isaac Crowson reports.

“THEY’RE awful.” “They’re a monstrosity.” “They’ll grow on people in the end.”

Those are the views of Spondon residents talking about two wind turbines.

Severn Trent Water received permission to erect the structures at Derby Sewage Treatment Works, in Megaloughton Lane, last year.

They will produce about 10,000 megawatts of electricity, which is the equivalent of supplying around 3,000 homes with power.

The turbines dominate the skyline and are clearly visible for drivers entering the city at Brian Clough Way.

Linda Pringle, of Mercian Mews, is unhappy with them and thinks they could have a negative effect on the price of her property.

The 65-year-old said: “I’m very angry and annoyed at them because they’re awful.

“I can see them from my bedroom and I don’t want them on my doorstep. They could devalue the price of my house which would be through no fault of mine.”

Spondon resident Bernard Cahill is against where they have been positioned, although he recognises the value they might bring.

The 81-year-old said: “I’m not that impressed because they are too close to the village. Another quarter-mile further back and they would have been ok.

“But I’m sure they will do a good job.”

Bill Collings’ property overlooks one of the turbines.

The 83-year-old said: “I think they are a monstrosity. They get your attention straight away and you can’t really miss them.

“I don’t know why a generator has not been installed on the River Derwent, that would be a far better source of power for people. Also, what will they sound like when they are working?”

Shirley Smith, 73, of Fellside, said: “I think in the end they will grow on people and blend into the area.

“I’d rather have them there than in the countryside.”

Wind will need to reach 6mph for the turbines to start to generate. If winds exceed 60mph then they will come to a natural stop and will no longer be able to generate.

Margaret Orme, of Vancouver Avenue, hopes the economic and environmental benefits will override other concerns. She said: “If it can save people money then I don’t mind, although I think they are a little bit of an eye-sore.”

Michael Longden, 22, of Monsal Drive, is pleased with them. He said: “I think they’re wicked. I’m not fussed by the view and I won’t be bothered by any noise.”

The turbines have split opinion in the Hothi household in Chapel Lane.

Elaine, 48, said she favoured them but husband Jas does not like them.

Mrs Hothi said: “Jas thinks they spoil the landscape.

“I think they’re ok but, when they work, then I might have a different opinion. If I lived right next to them, I might not want them.”

Spondon councillor Evonne Williams thinks residents will eventually warm to the new turbines.

The Borrowfield Road resident said: “I think in a couple of months, or perhaps in a year, they will simply become part of the landscape.

“My view is I’m not really worried about them and I’m not for or against them. It’s got my daughter, Hannah, talking more about renewable energy, which is a good thing. They will certainly put Spondon on the map.”

Spondon resident Derek Hathaway, who has lived in the village for 43 years, is happy the work has been completed. He said: “We were warned about two years ago that this was in the pipeline and we had specific presentations about it.

“It’s also been publicised at neighbourhood board forums. My feelings then were that we need to be concerned about climate change and reducing emissions.

“This seemed like an excellent idea. Severn Trent should be commended for the work they have done.

“I’m sympathetic to them as well because they have to put turbines somewhere.

“It’s out of the way and will not be intrusive. I think the problem for a lot of people is shock and their reaction is coming from surprise. In a few months, I think people will just see it as part of the Spondon landscape.

“I have heard people take issue with the effect it might have on traffic, but I don’t think that will apply.”

Mr Hathaway said he has spoken to many residents in the village and opinion was divided.

He added: “People have expressed the fact it might become an eyesore.

“I can’t argue with that, but I do disagree.”

Both turbines measure 130m, which is twice the height of Derby Cathedral’s tower.

Jon Beeson, renewable energy specialist at Severn Trent Water, said: “We’ve been working closely with the local community so that the new additions become part of the neighbourhood.

“Asterdale Primary School has already named the turbines Winnie and Tony. We have also donated around £50,000 to good causes in the area. One example includes our work with Derby City Council to help residents of Spondon and Alvaston with energy efficiency and water-saving tips, which we hope will help them save money on their bills.

“It takes a huge amount of electricity to provide water and waste water services to our customers. When Winnie and Tony are in use, they’ll help us to limit the amount of electricity we need to take from the national grid.

“We’re generating around 24 per cent of our company’s energy needs from renewable sources including sewage, hydro and energy from crops grown on our own farmland.

“This, along with other initiatives, will see us generate more than 30 per cent of our energy sustainability by 2015.”


CONTROVERSIAL plans for two wind turbines almost as tall as Nelson’s Column have been submitted for the third time.

A planning application for the 45-metre turbines on land south of Burnaston Lane has been made by Bowler Energy LLP.

The company first withdrew its proposals for the land, near to Burnaston Lane, in May 2012 – after campaigners highlighted technical issues in the application.

It then submitted a second application to South Derbyshire District Council for the two structures on the site later that year.

But this was again withdrawn in March, although reasons why were not given at the time.

Now proposals for the turbines – which have previously been opposed by campaign group Burnaston and Etwall Residents Against Turbine Exploitation (BERATE) – have again been submitted.

In a statement to the council about the plans, the Hilton firm said: ”The applicant does not seek to argue the construction of the turbines will not have an impact in the landscape.

“The site, design, colour and materials for the turbines have, however, been chosen to minimise these impacts as far as possible, while considering the impact upon the amenity of neighbouring properties.”

Burnaston and Etwall Residents Against Turbine Exploitation had worked in the past to highlight issues with the application and to raise awareness.

Members had previously claimed that, by allowing the turbines to go ahead, it would not conform with the district council’s policy which “seeks to ensure the character of the countryside is safeguarded and protected”.

The first submitted application attracted dozens of objections and Etwall Parish Council also voted against the proposal.

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