Opposition is mounting fast against a developer’s plan to build the district’s first sky-scraping wind farm at Hook Moor near Aberford.
County Durham-based Banks Development wants to build between five to eight mammoth wind turbines, each 125 metres high, at Hook Moor east of the A1.
The turbines, one third the height of New York’s famous Empire State Building, would deliver renewable energy as part of the Government’s target to produce ten per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2010.
Letters of objection
But Harewood ward councillor, Rachael Procter, says she has already received more than 50 letters of objection against the green-site development from local residents in Aberford, Tadcaster and Micklefield.
And a 100-strong Hook Moor Wind Farm Action group has also been set up in Micklefield with members saying they will fight the development.
Coun Procter, whose ward covers Hook Moor, says she will be offering her support to the action group.
She said: “Wind farms are only 25 to 30 per cent efficient and then you have all the concrete infrastructure and the damage they do to the eco-system to deal with too.
“Everybody always jumps on the green band-wagon when it comes to wind farms but I think there are better alternative sources of energy available such as growing fuels and we need to do more research.”
“We are going to hold a public meeting the last week of September and an expert on wind farms will be coming along to talk to residents in depth about their noise impact and efficiency levels,” she said.
But, in defence of the proposals, Rob Williams, divisional projects director at Banks Developments, said: “We go to great lengths to consult with local communities around all our proposals and take all the feedback and opinions we receive, whether positive or negative, into account when finalising our development
“A further public exhibition will be held later in the year to show the proposed scheme in detail, which will show any amendments that have been made to the proposals since the first event last month.
“We believe that the scheme we’re proposing for Hook Moor could make a real environmental difference by generating enough energy for up to 10,000 homes without producing any harmful greenhouse gasses.”
Banks Development has already submitted the first stage of their application to build a 60m test wind mast on the Hook Moor site.
If approved by planners at Leeds City Council on September 27 the temporary mast will operate on the site for three years.
Coun Procter says residents have until August 26 to send letters of objection against the test mast to the Development Department at Leeds City Council, Leonardo Buildings, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HB.
By Susannah Berry
10 August 2007
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