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Campaigners' windfarm fears

Villagers who fear their rural outlook would be destroyed by huge wind turbines will mount what could be their final challenge next week.

STIER (Stop Turbines in East Riding) – formed of residents from Gransmoor, Lissett and other nearby villages – have fought for almost a year against proposals to put up 12 massive turbines on the former Lissett airfield.

Crunch time has now been reached as East Riding of Yorkshire Council is expected to come to a decision at a full planning meeting next Thursday.

Councillors deferred making a decision at the last committee meeting and asked for further information about how local tourism would be affected by the wind farm and about funds being made available to the local communities.

Members of STIER will speak out again at the meeting next week.

Jeanette Cawkwell said while campaigners accepted the need for greener energy production, they did not feel that spending millons of pounds on inefficient turbines was the best way forward.

She said she feared the huge turbines could put people off visiting the area for holidays and recreation – which seemed to be at odds with the council’s commitment to boost local tourism.

“If the turbines were efficient, we would probably all say we would put up with them, but they’re not – they are only 25 per cent efficient.

“That isn’t enough for the amount of intrusion and expense they cost.

“We rely on tourism in this area and this would be hugely damaging.”

The plans submitted by Novera Energy are for 12 turbines of 410 feet high – which campaigners say would be the highest in the UK.

Campaigners had sent scores of letters of oppositionbut these never reached ERYC, nor did objections from that parish council. The only issues that the ERYC has asked to be clarified is the potential impact on tourism and how the communities fund would work.

The campaigners said they are also concerned about the environmental damage caused by concrete during construction.

However, ERYC has received comments from people in favour of the wind farm including environmental campaigners.

beverleytoday.co.uk

14 February 2007