Three out of four windfarm proposals which campaigners claim would blight a stretch of the Yorkshire coast are being recommended for refusal.
Residents have been campaigning for more than a year against proposals for three 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.
Planning officials are recommending refusal for the two larger proposals, but approval for a third application of just three turbines at Tedder Hill, at a meeting tomorrow. They are also recommending refusal of a fourth application for a nine-turbine farm at Withernwick.
They give five grounds of refusal against the application at Monkwith, near Roos, including the adverse impact on the grade-one listed church at Tunstall and an objection from the Ministry of Defence about potential interference with the radar at Staxton Wold.
Planners say there is “significant” opposition to the 11-turbine proposal at Rectory Road, in Roos, and “minimum support”.
A report to the meeting says the windfarm “would change the landscape character of the area to an unacceptable degree” – adding that close proximity to other proposed windfarms made the proposal unacceptable.
However officers say the application for three turbines on its own “seems acceptable” as the nearest wind farm is at Easington 14 miles away, and unlike the three other applications there is no Ministry of Defence objection.
Four parish councils have objected to Energiekontor’s proposal at Withernwick, saying that on top of gas storage plans it would amount to industrialisation of the countryside. More than 150 letters of protest have been sent in, against just two in support.
Resident Jackie Cracknell, who lives near the proposed site at Monkwith, said: “Quite clearly we do not want wind turbines on the Holderness plain. Our landscape is low-lying, naturally undulating.
“It has a rugged beauty which will be ruined.”
However Charlie Anglin of the British Wind Energy Association urged councillors to think to the long term.
He said: “It is frustrating because once windfarms are up and running it is the communities around them that are most supportive.
“Do we want to rely on having 80 per cent of our gas imported? Sixty per cent will come from Russia, Iran and Qatar.
“Do we want to pay much higher electricity bills because we failed to invest in green, clean energy at home?”
Supporters of wind energy believe 25 per cent of Britain’s electricity could be derived from windpower by 2020.
By Alexandra Wood
17 October 2007
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