Hydro-electric plan for Otley lodged

Councillor Ryk Downes

Councillor Ryk Downes

First published in News

Proposals for a much-discussed new hydro-electric scheme and fish pass in Otley have been submitted.

The idea of using a turbine at the weir on the River Wharfe to once again generate renewable energy was first proposed during early discussions about the redevelopment of the former Garnett paper mill.

It was linked with creating a fish pass that would help re-establish salmon in the river.

Now, several years later with the creation of nearly 200 homes plus other facilities – including cafes and a restaurant – well underway at Garnett Wharfe, both ideas seem to be edging closer to reality.

Developers David Wilson Homes are asking Leeds City Council for permission to build a new hydro-electric scheme on the wei, a fish pass and a new visitor centre, along with nine flats.

Councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) welcomed the plan.

He said: "The suggestion to use the weir was made some years ago and during the initial discussions about the Garnetts redevelopment we urged the developer to look at this green source of energy.

"Subsequently, as part of our consultation on the old Wharfemeadows pool site residents suggested that this would be a good source of electricity to heat a new pool.

"I am happy to say the developers have now come up with an innovative scheme to provide electricity.

"The plans also include a visitor centre which will be an asset to the area, along with a fish pass which will help with the project to return salmon to the Wharfe.

"I hope this project can move forward quickly and bring some community benefit to the riverside."

A new riverside walk and cycleway are also being created as part of the development.

The Garnett site, off Mill Lane, has links to paper production that stretch back almost 300 years.

The mill had been empty and unused for several years, following the company's decision to relocate paper production to India in 2006, before the demolition of most of its buildings took place last year.

Comments (1)

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6:31am Wed 26 Mar 14

collos25 says...

There is no way a hydro electric scheme on the Wharfe could generate enough power to pay for its true cost and maintenance, another burden for the tax payer from which the developer will make a bundle..
There is no way a hydro electric scheme on the Wharfe could generate enough power to pay for its true cost and maintenance, another burden for the tax payer from which the developer will make a bundle.. collos25
  • Score: -6

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