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Wildlife concerns prompt protest  

Campaigners against a proposed wind farm claim developers have breached planning conditions set to protect wildlife.

Members of the Wolds Wind Farm Opposition (WWFO) group claim developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES) failed to follow procedures for putting up a piece of test equipment.

RES was granted planning permission in November to erect an 80m (262ft) test anemometer at the site of a proposed 10-turbine wind farm at Rotsea, near Hutton Cranswick.

But a condition imposed at the time said the company had to inform East Riding Council it had taken precautions to protect birds at the nearby Tophill Low site.

The condition stated: “No construction shall commence until details of reflective strips to be used on all guy ropes are submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority.”

But according to members of the WWFO, the mast has been put up without this direct approval.

WWFO spokesman Martin Bailey said the group had put in a complaint to East Riding Council.

He said: “It seems to us that RES has flouted this important planning condition.

“It reinforces our view that concern for the environment and, in particular, the many species of bird in this area are not a priority for these companies.

“This demonstrates a disregard for the community and the wildlife.

“Our concern is the same disregard could be shown if they were granted permission to construct wind turbines.”

Tophill Low is a designated site of special scientific interest and has an extensive bird population.

When considering the application for the mast, which is used to measure wind speed and direction, the council recorded 197 letters of objection.

The planning condition regarding the reflective strips was imposed following advice from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

The strips are used to reduce the potential for birds to collide with structures.

A spokeswoman for the RSPB said: “We have given this advice in the hope it will make the area safer for birds.”

She also confirmed the council had recently been in touch with a conservation officer for the organisation.

A spokesman for the council would neither confirm nor deny whether there had been a breach of planning conditions, but said the complaint was under investigation.

He said: “The matter has been investigated and we are in discussion with the applicant to resolve the matter.”

No one from RES was available to comment.

Links

Renewable Energy Systems

www.res-ltd.com

Wolds Wind Farm Opposition

www.wwfo.co.uk

thisishull.co.uk

7 April 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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