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Friends of the Earth group backs hydro power plan for Saltaire
10:00am Tuesday 23rd October 2012 in News
Supporters of a controversial project to build a £1.2 million hydro power turbine at the heart of Saltaire’s World Heritage Site have launched an e-petition following calls to scrap the project.
Baildon Friends of the Earth group has started the online petition to show its support for the planned scheme on the Roberts Park side of Saltaire weir.
That is despite fears from Saltaire Village Society and the Friends of Roberts Park that plans for the turbine would “ride roughshod” over the protection given to the village to recognise its importance as one of the district's most important historical assets.
The e-petition supporting the scheme has been signed by more than 70 people in its first four days.
Lead petitioner John Anderson, of Baildon Friends of the Earth said: "This is an important issue. Bradford Council has already installed photovoltaics (solar panels) and biomass boilers. This is its first projected hydro-electricity generating installation. We need a variety of means of generating electricity renewably.”
The petition states that the proposed Saltaire hydro power scheme will be “unobtrusive and an additional attraction for visitors to Roberts Park”.
An alternative e-petition, calling for the plans to be scrapped, has attracted 33 signatures since it went live last month.
Mr Anderson said during a presentation and consultation over the scheme, 75 per cent of those attending voted in favour and fewer than 10 per cent were against, with the rest remaining neutral.
He said no formal plans had yet been submitted and there would be an opportunity for people to comment during the planning process.
Saltaire bookseller David Ford, who has signed the petition in support, said: “This is the type of renewables scheme that is most suited to Saltaire's environment and resources and it gives Saltaire residents an opportunity to contribute towards our international targets of switching to renewables and a sustainable energy policy that will ensure enough power to light and heat our homes in the future.”
Objectors Saltaire Village Society and the Friends of Roberts Park have said that the park was given to the City of Bradford Corporation in 1921 by Sir James Roberts on the condition it would be kept “for the purposes only of a public park and recreational ground.”