Proposals to build a 12-turbine wind farm at Rusholme Grange in Newland have been given the green light.
Selby District Council planning committee members backed the scheme by 16 votes to one at a meeting last week.
Wind Prospect’s £17 million scheme received 500 letters of objection from parish councils, residents and the Communities Against Rusholme Turbines (CART) action group, but also 1,230 letters of support.
Once up and running, the wind farm will provide energy for about 15,000 homes. Councillors made their decision after visiting two similar operations at Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire and Burton Wold in Northamptonshire.
Coun John Mackman, who chaired the planning meeting, said: “Climate change, greenhouse gases and the need for long-term sustainability in a manner that doesn’t damage the environment are very important and the country has got to do something about it.
“We certainly have sympathy for people who have power stations and wind farms on their doorsteps. In the long term, however, unless we do something, nuclear energy will be the only alternative.”
Local Greenpeace campaigner Richard Claxton said: “This is an iconic decision. Here in the shadow of Drax Power Station, Selby District Council is turning its back on dirty energy and taking a bold step into the clean energy future we so desperately need.”
CART spokesman Neil Cranswick said: “We’re obviously very disappointed at the result.
“Should the noise manifest itself as a problem we will continue to fight it at that stage, and we certainly think it will.
“I think more emphasis should have been placed on noise. Other wind farms are suffering it and I don’t think this will be any different.”
Wind Prospect spokesman Tim Matthews said: “We’re extremely pleased to have got permission because it has been in the system for quite a long time.
“Noise is controlled very well and there are regulations that limit this quite stringently. It’s important people who don’t know much about wind farms go to existing sites to dispel worries about noise. Selby District Council did this so it was suitably informed to make the decision.”
The wind farm is expected to take between 12 and 18 months to discharge the pre-construction conditions of the site, with a further four to six months required to install the 100 metre high turbines.
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