Parish chairman says that the turbines could blight county
A warning was issued yesterday that East Yorkshire could be “ruined” by applications to build wind farms.
Paul Robinson, chairman of Gilberdyke Parish Council, has called on East Riding Council to act to prevent a “needless and unsightly” crop of wind turbines appearing across the region.
He said: “If each wind turbine that is currently being planned in East Yorkshire is given planning permission, coupled with those that have already received planning permission or been constructed, the total amount of energy produced will vastly exceed the council’s target of producing 40.7 mw of electricity by 2010.
“It would appear that the council does not have a specific policy on renewable energy and it is the council who should be leading the way on this.
“If we are not careful, there will be so many wind farms it will blight the whole of the East Riding.”
People were not against wind farms, he added, but the important thing was to site them where they have least impact.
Wind farms that have either been approved or are being considered by East Yorkshire Council include those at or near Out Newton, Cowick, Goole, Snaith, Skerne, Hutton Cranswick, Roos, Balkholme and Ulrome, representing about 150 turbines in total.
Gilberdyke Parish Council opposes a proposed development at Balkholme, between Howden and Gilberdyke.
The firm Your Energy plans to build a 50m mast that would measure wind speed and direction in the area, seen as a precursor to developing a wind farm.
Coun Robinson said the parish council decided to oppose the plan after consulting residents.
A survey found that 90 per cent of respondents supported the government’s target of generating 10 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2010; 64 per cent supported the use of wind energy to help meet those targets, but 65 per cent opposed the development near Sixpenny Wood at Balkholme.
Coun Robinson said: “The community were not prepared to give consent and this was for several reasons.
“Firstly, the impact on the environment. Howden is a very flat, low-lying area and people would therefore be able to see these things for miles around.
“They were also concerned on the impact on the environment. The site is close to Blacktoft Nature Reserve and there are fears it would impact on the wildlife.”
East Riding Council turned down the original application, citing a host of reasons including those outlined by Coun Robinson. But officers are studying proposed development after the plans were resubmitted.
“It shows again why there needs to be a clear policy on this,” said Coun Robinson.
“The council needs to decide how many wind farms it needs and where it wants to put them.”
A spokesman for East Riding Council said the authority was intending to address the issue.
He said: “Planning applications for wind farms are currently considered against policies contained in the East Riding’s four local plans.
“The council will be drawing up a policy on wind farms as part of the new Local Development Framework, which will replace it and the local plans.”
31 August 2006
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