PLANS to build a large windfarm in Birdsedge are set to be scaled down.
But villagers opposed to the plan fear that the company behind the project have other proposals in mind.
It is more than two years since Pure Renewable Energy (PRE) revealed plans to put up four 360ft tall wind turbines on land close to the village.
Now it has admitted it will withdraw its current plan and submit a new one.
A spokesman said the company was planning a new “slightly smaller four turbine” scheme at the same location.
Residents first became aware of the original plan in September 2009 when a wind speed measuring mast was installed on farmland off Windmill Lane, at High Flatts.
A few months later a plan for five turbines was revealed – but this was later scaled back to four.
The four wind turbines forming part of the development – named Dearne Head Wind Farm – would feature 250ft rotors and stand at roughly the height of 25 double decker buses.
Plans showed one of the turbines was within a third of a mile of housing and within half-a-mile of the local primary school.
Upset at the close proximity to the village, local residents vowed to fight the scheme and backed by their MP, Simon Reevell, and local councillors, they formed the protest group BOLT (Birdsedge and district Opposition to Large wind Turbines) to work to block the plan.
But PRE forged ahead and submitted a formal application to Kirklees Council in July 2010.
Denby Dale Tory, Clr Jim Dodds, pictured inset, said Kirklees planners had advised PRE that the plan was likely to be turned down but they would look more favourably at a smaller scheme.
He said: “Because of the strength of local opposition and because one of the turbines was really close to a property and to the road, it looks as if the plan will be withdrawn in February and a new application for fewer turbines and smaller turbines will be submitted in March.
“I think it’s great. It’s about time people woke up to the fact that the general public don’t want large wind turbines to be close to their properties.”
Clr Dodds said if a new application was submitted he wanted it dealt with much quicker.
He added: “Over two years of uncertainty (for villagers) is not good.
“We should get these applications done and dusted as quickly as possible.”
Secretary of BOLT, Steve Ashley, said the group remained ready to act if there were developments over the next few weeks.
He said: “We believe (the developers) have finally taken notice of what they’ve been told, that the one at the top of the hill is a no-goer and the others need to be moved back.
“If a new plan is for two small turbines six miles away then we’ll celebrate, but until then, we know nothing, so we can’t be re-assured or fired up about something imaginary.”
But a spokesman for PRE told the Express & Chronicle they still hoped to put up four turbines.
He said: “We will be revising the scheme.
“We’ve carried out community consultation exercises and had long discussions with planners.
“We’re right in the middle of the process of making some amendments but we intend to withdraw our current application at the end of February and hope to submit the new one in the middle of March.
“There will still be four turbines but they will be slightly smaller and in slightly different locations.”