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Planners favour go-ahead for wind farm at disused airfield

Planners are recommending that a wind farm is given the go-ahead this week, claiming the impact on tourism will only be “modest”.

Officials say the benefits of building a 12-turbine wind farm on a disused airfield at Lissett outweigh any impact.

But people who will be living in the vicinity of the 410ft-high turbines disagree.

Christine Lee, who lives in Gransmoor, said: “We think it is going to be far more than modest because all the villages and hamlets have little one-man businesses which to a large extent depend on visitors ““ B&Bs, holiday cottages and people selling organic vegetables. If there is any slight drop in visitor numbers it will hit these people.

“I can’t imagine for one moment that people who have these very expensive static caravans will be wanting to spend regular holidays close to a wind farm where they are going to have loss of amenity and noise problems.”

However, planners quote a report, done on behalf of developer Novera Energy, which estimates that tourism brings £1.5m into the Lissett area a year. They say a slight fall in visitor numbers would only lead to a decline in income of £40,500, adding: “It is likely that positive impacts from construction and operation visitors to the wind farm would compensate for any such impact.”

They even go on to suggest that the former RAF site could with investment “be promoted as a tourist attraction in its own right”.

Officials are recommending that the proposal gets the green light on Thursday when it comes before the East Riding’s planning committee for a second time, subject to a legal agreement over a £1.4m community fund proposed by Novera Energy, the setting up of a liaison forum and the planting of trees in the area.

The energy firm has also agreed to run cabling from the turbines underground to feed into the National Grid at a sub-station near Driffield.

Barbara Morley of Hill Farm, Gransmoor, within a mile of the site, didn’t hold out much hope of stopping the development. She said: “I think it is cut and dried. I think it has gone through already.”

Meanwhile East Yorkshire Campaign Against Climate Change activists will campaign at County Hall today dressed as King Canute and a wind turbine in support of the Merton Rule, a planning policy that requires the use of onsite renewable energy in all major new building developments.

Spokesman Richard Claxton urged councillors to approve the wind farm.

yorkshiretoday.co.uk

20 February 2007