East Yorkshire’s tourist industry would be hit if huge wind turbines were built in the region, according to business owners.
However, energy companies developing the wind farms have said the schemes could attract visitors to the area.
The claims were made ahead of an East Riding Council planning committee meeting being held today.
Councillors are considering three separate proposals to build wind turbines at Routh, near Beverley, Lissett, near Driffield, and Barmby-on-the-Marsh, close to Howden.
Yesterday, the applicants for each scheme and objectors presented their cases to members of the council committee at a pre-planning meeting.
Energy firm Ridgewind wants to build 12 turbines, up to 328ft, on land north of Hall Farm at Routh.
However, as revealed by the Mail last week, planning officers are recommending the scheme is rejected, amid fears over the impact on views across Beverley Westwood and the town’s Minster.
But experts employed by the company told the meeting the development would “not adversely affect” the character of the area.
Speaking in support of the application, John Fairlee, from renewable energy consultants Engena Ltd, said: “Wind farms have been operating in Britain for about 15 years, in places such as Cornwall, Cumbria, Wales and Scotland.
“Visitor figures continue to increase in these areas.”
Mr Fairlee said the potential for wind turbines to become “attractions in their own right” should not be “underestimated”.
Tickton Grange owner Paul Whymant, spoke against the plan.
Mr Whymant said his hotel was 1km away from the proposed site.
He said: “Beverley is a gem, the Westwood is unique and is admired locally and nationally.
“Wind turbines and tourism, regrettably, do not mix together.”
Mike McCann, national vice-chairman of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association and owner of Far Grange Caravan Park in Skipsea, also voiced tourism concerns about the wind farm.
Novera Energy’s plans for 12 turbines, 410ft-tall (125 metres), are recommended for approval.
Mr McCann said: “There won’t be many people present in this room who have stood by, or near, a wind turbine of the magnitude proposed for Lissett.
“Fewer still will have stood next to 12 of them, in an area of tiny villages and flat land.
“How many of you would consider holidaying, or living, in an area dominated by these turbines, and in an area polluted by the noise they will generate?”
However, Jennifer Smith, technical director at Terence O’Rourke, Novera’s environmental consultants, told the meeting the development had the “potential for green tourism”, as people take diversions to see wind farms.
She also said there had been no objections from East Riding Council’s environmental control section over predicted noise levels.
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