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Villagers set for new battle over wind turbine  

Developers of a controversial Nidderdale wind farm want to re-site two of its eight 300ft high turbines so they do not interfere with a British Telecom link crossing the site.

Npower Renewables Ltd is applying to Harrogate Borough Council to relocate two turbines at Knabs Ridge, Nidderdale, between Skipton Road and Penny Pot Lane at Felliscliffe, near Harrogate.

Ironically, it was Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee which rejected the project in September 2005 ““ only for an independent government inspector to overrule their decision and give the go ahead.

British Telecom has confirmed it is happy with the siting of the new turbines, confirming they will not cause any problem to their link.

But in a David v Goliath move Felliscliffe Parish Council, which objected to the original application to establish the site, are objecting again.

The parish council believes the new planning application should be judged, like any other, per se and on its own merits. This should take into account all recent and up to date evidence both for and against wind farm developments.

Meanwhile nearby Killinghall Parish Council decline to comment, feeling there was little point in making any observations.

The Countryside Agency does not comment about the re-siting but stands by its policy that there should be a presumption against wind energy developments in designated areas.

Meanwhile English Heritage say the scheme should be considered in line with national and local policy.

Leeds City Council want planners to consider the visual impact of the turbines on long distance views from high points in north Leeds.

The Ministry of Defence say the sheer height of the turbines means aeronautical charts and mapping records will have to be amended.

The Office of Communications (Ofcom) says the applicant should have clearance from the licensed operator saying they are satisfied the turbines will not affect operation of the microwave link.

The Ramblers’ Association has objected to the re-siting on grounds of public safety. And they want the turbines fitted with warning lights.

At the original hearing there was an objection from Leeds-Bradford International Airport.

They objected on grounds that the turbines would interfere with radar equipment at the Yeadon-based airport.

Planning officer Andy Hough, recommending approval when councillors meet on Tuesday, October 10, to consider the application, says the planning appeal decision now carries compelling weight. But he said the new siting of turbines would alter the visual impact of the turbine cluster.

The borough council say no development can take place on the site until the applicant has secured a programme of archaeological works.


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