Controversial plans for a wind farm near Eggborough have met with strong opposition from local councillors who fear it will become another blot on the landscape.
Last week Selby Times revealed Leading UK-based renewable energy developer Your Energy had identified Stubbs Bridge – situated between the village and neighbouring Knottingley – for the installation of ten wind turbines.
But councillors John and Mary McCartney (pictured) said the district already contributes enough to the national grid with the two large Drax and Eggborough power stations and Kellingley Colliery.
They fear the wind farm could end up turning into the ‘white elephant’ they call the ARBRE wood burning power station, which was built a few years ago against the wishes of local residents and is now unused.
Coun John McCartney said: “The thinking seems to be that the area is already blighted so a bit more won’t do any harm. Just because we don’t live in a national park or a particularly pretty area, they think we won’t put up much of a fight.
“We fear that once we have a few wind farms in the district, the argument will be strengthened and if we are not vigilant, we could end up as the wind farm capital of Britain.”
Both North and West Yorkshire currently fall short of strict government targets for creating renewable energy. The wind farm could power up to 10,000 homes and push North Yorkshire 23 per cent further towards its target of 129MW by 2010.
The councillors said they are not opposed to reducing Britain’s CO2 emissions through alternative means of electricity, but think the wind farms are better sited off-shore or on hillsides.
Coun John McCartney said: “It is not as if we live in a particularly windy part of the country, indeed the rest of North Yorkshire with its coastline and hills is much windier.
“We do not need this wind farm to fulfil our energy requirements. It will to provide energy for places like York and Leeds, so lets see them being built on the Knavesmire and Roundhay Park rather than blighting our area.”
The councillors have issued a statement of their objections to parish councillors in the hope that collective action can be taken against the plans. Coun John McCartney added: “We need to say no and stop the companies at the planning stage.”
Your Energy Limited development manager Matt Kelly this week urged people to keep an open mind until they have attended the public information day at Eggborough Village Hall between noon and 8pm today.
He added: “We hope that once we have had the opportunity to discuss our ideas, people with reservations will be favourable about the possibility of a renewable energy source in the region. We have already received a number of supportive comments from people in the local area.”
30 August 2007
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