A 34-turbine windfarm would change the Isle of Axholme’s landscape, an inquiry heard.
The claim was made by an expert witness brought by North Lincolnshire Council – the latest body to take the stand at the ongoing probe.The authority opposed the application for a 34-turbine windfarm at Keadby – set to be the country’s biggest – because of the site’s location and design.
Giving evidence for the council, two weeks into the inquiry at Goole’s Viking Hotel, landscape architect Chris Emerson said the authority was opposed to the plan because of the ‘visual impact’ it would have on nearby villages.
The Keadby site, which could generate 85-megawatts of power, is adjacent to Keadby Power Station and in an area already clustered with electricity pylons, it was heard.
“Within 5km of the turbines, the (visual) impact would be high,” Mr Emerson said.
“The area is near capacity for future windfarm developments.”
Mr Emerson pointed to mooted developments, including an eight-turbine farm at Bagmoor, near Flixborough, which, he said, would have a ‘low-level (visual) impact’ compared to the Keadby farm.
Mr Emerson said the council was opposing the application, as it would change the Isle of Axholme’s landscape.
“On the north of the Isle it would add complexity to the visual landscape,” he said.
“We’re looking at a landscape which doesn’t appear in the Scottish Highlands, where there are other windfarms. It is a very different landscape from Scotland, Wales and Ireland.”
Mr Emerson said he thought the proposed site was suitable for a windfarm, but it would depend on the design.
“In my opinion, this is a site which is suitable for a windfarm, but it depends on the design and layout of the turbines at that height,” he said.
“It is both the scale in terms of the area it covers and the height of the turbines.”
David Manley QC, for North Lincolnshire Council, asked Mr Emerson what the problems with the layout of the proposals were.
“I can see very little in this layout which is there to minimise any effects this windfarm would have on the local village,” Mr Emerson said.
“It adds a degree of complexity when it’s viewed from any of the villages (in North Axholme).
“It need not be so, but it’s there.”
Mr Manley then asked Mr Emerson if a windfarm could be designed ‘to mitigate the power station’.
Mr Emerson said: “There would be many ways of designing it to mitigate the problems.
“Turbines could be arranged to line up with the particular view or line up to a very simple pattern.”
If the project gets the go-ahead, each turbine at the North Lincolnshire site would be up to 125-metres in height and would generate around 85 megawatts of electricity.
Renewable Energy Systems (RES), developers of the proposed Keadby site, claim this is enough to supply up to 35,000 homes each year.
The inquiry continues.
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