Developers have confirmed that they are still “very keen” to set up a controversial wind farm near Garforth & Micklefield.
The city council’s East Plans Panel rejected an application to erect a 200ft high trial mast on green belt land at Hook Moor, but the company intends to appeal against the decision.
And, said Phil Dyke, managing director of Banks Renewables, they were still “very keen” on the site.
“We still believe that our proposed site is an excellent location for Leeds to have the chance of a source of renewable energy,” he said.
Durham-based Banks have proposed a wind farm with as many as eight propeller-style turbines, which could be around 400ft high.
They claim it would generate enough energy for up to 10,000 homes without production of environmentally- damaging greenhouse gases.
But campaigners claim that the turbines would be higher than York Minster and visible for miles around.
The monitoring mast was to be used to collect data ahead of an application for the wind farm, but although officers recommended approval councillors unanimously rejected the proposal.
There were also over 770 objections to the application.
Mr Dyke said they were “amazed” at the decision. “As far aswe knowthis is the first planning application for renewable energy in Leeds and we are quite surprised that the panel turned down such a strong recommendation from officers. We are certainly going to appeal.”
However, the decision has delighted campaigners.
Carolyn Walker, of the Hook Moor Wind Farm Action Group, claimed that the proposed site near the A1/M1 Link Road was wholly inappropriate andmuch too close to people’s houses.
“The turbines might be 400ft, but that is from the ground. This site is on higher ground alongside the road so they would be much higher than that,” she claimed.
“We are delighted to have go this far with our campaign, but this is only the first round and we will continue our efforts.”
Local councillor James Lewis (Labour, Kippax and Methley) said: “It is great news at this stage, but we must remain vigilant.
“I am particularly pleased that the planning panel took the time for a site visit and could see how close it would be to houses.”
By Sheila Holmes
11 October 2007
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