A row has erupted over accusations that an isolated stretch of coast in Holderness is in danger of being swamped by windfarms.
Residents have been campaigning for more than a year against proposals to build three separate windfarms, with a total of 21 turbines – some 400ft from the base to the tip of the blades – which they fear could form “a ring of steel” around the Holderness village of Roos.
The applications will be probably heard together, but not until the autumn, in part because of outstanding objections from the Ministry of Defence about potential interference, in two of the proposals, with the radar at Staxton Wold.
The only windfarm operating in the East Riding is a seven-turbine scheme at Out Newton, which was approved following a public inquiry in 2000.
But in February planners approved the county’s largest windfarm to date, an 11-turbine scheme which should supply 12,000 homes with “green” electricity.
A scheme at Goole Fields was approved four years ago but is still in abeyance until the issue of the impact of the turbines on the radar system at Robin Hood airport is resolved.
East Riding Council’s head of planning and development control, Philip Parker, said so far they had won the delay using the argument about cumulative impact – but only time would tell.
Mr Parker said: “When Out Newton went ahead, two others in the locality were ditched.
“We have always expressed concern about cumulative impact. It is a gross simplification to say anything can go in Holderness or Goole.
“The reality is that it has not happened.”
He added: “It is not fair to say there is any kind of free for all; the industry is having quite a tough fight of it.”
Mr Parker said the wind industry had focused on the East Riding “fairly late in the day” as its attention had been on other areas such as the high Pennines.
“We have been successful in deterring the wind energy
industry from choosing locations in areas of high landscape value on the high Wolds. It is no coincidence that they are looking at Holderness and Goole.”
Meanwhile, he said, the objections from defence officials still stood.
How long that would continue is not known, with work currently being undertaken to resolve the problem of interference.
However even if technological solution was found, there would still be an issue of cost-effectiveness.
Resident Jackie Cracknell, from Hilston, said she was pleased by council’s stance on cumulative impact, but added: “People do genuinely feel they are being dumped on.
“A few miles up the road there’s Aldbrough which is being further developed for gas storage, and we hear there’s another set of caverns in the offing coming a mile away.
“With the amount of development and the wind farms on top, it’s no surprise people are very unhappy.”
By Alexandra Wood
4 July 2007
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