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Lissett wind farm proposal backed

Highly controversial proposals to build a wind farm of 12 turbines reaching 410 feet into the sky at the former war time Lissett airfield will be debated by councillors next week.

A planning application has been submitted by Novera Energy Limited to build the wind farm, a permanent 80m anemometer mast, a control building and a parking area at the famous World War II bomber base.

The scheme has sparked a widespread mixed reaction with hundreds of people contacting the planning authority, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, both in support and in protest.

The application will be considered by the planning committee on Tuesday, when officers are recommending that a decision should be deferred to allow for the preparation of a legal agreement which will deal with the potential impact of interference with domestic television reception and other matters.

Provided this is satisfactorily resolved, officers are recommending that the director of customer services be authorised to grant planning permission.

The application site covers 195 hectares of the disused RAF Lissett airfield and stands 1.5 kilometres west of the village.

There are no buildings on the base but many concrete runways and taxiways remain and other parts are used for arable farming.

The proposal is for 12 wind turbines, each with a hub height of 80m and a 45m radius, featuring a three bladed rotor, giving a maximum height to the top of the vertical blades of 125m – or 410ft.

The turbines would be in two parallel lines about 400 metres apart and would be mounted on concrete bases covered with a metre of topsoil. There would also be a meteorological mast up to 80m high to collect wind data.

There would be a control building building for electrical switch gear and around three kilometres of existing runways and taxiways would be upgraded. A further 2.2km of new access track would be built.

The expected operational life of the wind farm would be 25 years and at the end of that period it would be decommissioned and the site re instated, with all above ground structures removed. Alternatively, an application could be made to retain, replace or modify the site.

The land stands within the parish of Ulrome and the Lissett and Ulrome Parish council has recommended that the planning application should be approved, although its members have asked for cabling to go underground and not on poles or pylons. Beeford Parish Council has also said no objection, as has the authority for Barmston and Fraisthorpe.

But there have been objections from Skipsea Parish Council, Foston-on-the-Wolds Parish Council and Kelk Parish Council.
The Rambers Association has also objected, claiming: “Landscape views in the countryside would be despoiled by these industrial machines which comprise a money farm for land owners and developers. Wind farms produce little power.”

A report to the committee added: “At the time of preparing this report, a total of 83 individual letters and 136 standard letters of objection had been received.”

The main concerns were:

* The disastrous visual effect on the landscape of 12 wind turbines, each approximately 410 feet tall.

* The detrimental impact on the abundant wildlife of the area.

* The noise, vibration and light pollution which would be disturbing in an otherwise tranquil area.

On the other hand, 856 individual letters of support have been received, along with 284 standard letters and a petition of 50 letters.

They point out that:

Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet and we need renewable technology solutions such as the wind farm.

Wind power is clean.

It helps reduce the need for new nuclear power stations.
The committee report has concluded: “The proposed wind farm would provide renewable energy which is encouraged by national and local policy.

“It would not result in significant harm to the character of the landscape, open countryside, residential and visual amenity, wildlife and communications.

“There are no technical reasons not to grant consent.
The proposal complies with policy and is therefore recommended for approval.”
26 January 2007