Councillors are being recommended to turn down plans to build a windfarm at Routh, near Beverley, because officials claim the huge turbines will damage views of historic Beverley Minster.
An application by Ridgewind Ltd, who want to site 12 of the 100-metre high turbines on land north of Hall Farm at Routh will be considered at tomorrow’s (Tuesday (January 30) meeting of East Riding Council’s Planning Committee.
The scheme has sparked objections from several parish councils in the area, including Tickton and Routh Parish Council and Beverley Town Council.
East Riding Council’s conservation officer has also objected to the scheme, pointing out that the proposed site is only 5km from Beverley and claiming that the turbines will be visible from the Westwood and will spoil views of the town.
The Ramblers’ Association has also lodged an objection, claiming the wind turbines would be 45 metres higher than the towers of Beverley Minster when viewed from Black Mill on Beverley Westwood.
The applicants claim that the turbines will supply on average electricity for the equivalent of about 12,000 homes, more than nine per cent of households in the East Riding. They claim the project is in line with existing and emerging national and regional planning policies, and would provide educational resources.
They also say the visual appearance has been reduced by removing a number of turbines from the scheme.
A number of letters have been submitted to the council both from objectors and supporters of the scheme.
Among the objectors are a number of neighbouring businesses, including Tickton Grange Hotel, High Farm Estates, Heron Lakes and Routh Service Station.
Objectors claim the turbines would be too close to houses and have raised concerns about noise, particularly at night. They say the turbines are too high, would be a danger to wildlife and open countryside would be lost.
Some objectors claimed that the East Riding is being targeted by too many windfarm companies. They said turbines on the planned site at Routh would dominate the skyline for miles around, compromising the ‘unique setting’ of Beverley and the Minster.
But letters of support claimed the windfarm would have little impact either visually or by nuisance, and the project would benefit the environment.
In a report to the committee, planning officials say noise levels both during construction and operation are regarded as acceptable. But the major concern is the likely adverse impact on the unique views from Beverley Westwood eastwards towards Holderness.
They warn that close consideration must be given to the site’s proximity to Beverley Minster, pointing out that the church is recognised internationally as a magnificent example of Gothic architecture.
“Balancing the need and sustainability benefit against the local environmental impacts of the scheme, the proposal would cause substantial and unacceptable visual impact on the unique and historically important setting of Beverley and Beverley Minster when viewed from Beverley Westwood,” said Huw Roberts, the council’s director of customer services.
“This view is presently dominated by views of Beverley Minster, which is a famous landmark. This distinctiveness would be lost if the development was to go ahead.”
Councillors are being recommended to refuse consent on the grounds that the scheme would harm views of the Minster and conflict with policies of the Beverley Borough Local Plan.
At the same meeting, councillors are being recommended by their officers to approve a separate windfarm plan, by different applicants, for another site in the East Riding, at Lissett.
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