A plan to erect a 200 foot high mast which would help pave the way for a wind farm near Garforth & Micklefield has been blown away by councillors.
They refused an application by Banks Developments to site the wind monitoring mast in the green belt at Hook Moor, near Micklefield.
The city council’s East Plans Panel heard the mast would help the developers collect data ahead of an application for a wind farm on the same site with propellor-style turbines which could be as high as 400ft.
A report to the Panel accepted the test mast was inappropriate development in the green belt but said special circumstances existed which made the scheme acceptable.
Mr Max Rathmell, principal planning officer, said government policy favoured renewable energy developments and council planning officers felt the mast – which would be in place for up to two years – would not significantly harm the surrounding area.
Panel members heard that according to information held by the
Department of Trade and Industry there were only four sites in Leeds where it would be viable to develop a wind farm.
Mr Phil Dyke, representing Banks, said the Hook Moor site had been chosen because it was the most suitable.
The other three sites were not revealed to the Panel.
Over 770 people objected to the application.
Mr John Crossley, of Micklefield Parish Council which opposed the proposal, said the mast would “puncture the skyline and impinge on the unspoilt nature of the surroundings.”
Councillors supported Mr Crossley’s view.
Coun David Congreve (Labour, Beeston) said the mast would tower over nearby electricity pylons.
He added: “The pylons themselves are monstrosities and the mast would add to the unsightliness.”
The Panel voted 6-0 to reject the application.
A report setting out formal reasons for refusal will be brought to the Panel’s October meeting.
By David Marsh
27 September 2007
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