Dozens of huge wind turbines could be sited off Whitby and the surrounding coast in the future if Government plans come to fruition.
The idea has caused mixed reactions in the Whitby area with people accepting the need to find alternative forms of energy but concerned about the visual impact and how visitors would react.
The Government’s plan is to install up to 7,000 huge turbines standing almost 850ft high around Britain’s coastline and boost the amount of wind energy produced by 30-fold by the year 2020, although fossil-fuelled power stations would still be kept to come into action on windless days.
Coun David Jeffels, Scarborough Council’s cabinet member for tourism, said: “It will need a great deal of research.
“Although they have worked off Great Yarmouth, I am not sure the tourism industry here would want to see a mass of wind turbines if they spoilt our coast,” he said.
Whitby councillor Rob Broadley said that alternative forms of energy needed to be found and wind turbines could be the solution.
“We need to look for alternative forms of energy that’s for sure,” he said.
“We have oil rigs in the sea which are often located over the horizon, out of sight but it remains to be seen where these could be placed.
“But I don’t have any objection in principle to the idea.”
Coun Dorothy Clegg said the Government had waited too long to address the issue of climate change and said she would welcome wind turbines as long as they are a reasonable distance from the coast.
She said: “I would also like to see more development regarding using wave power as an alternative form of power.
“You ask any gardner and they’ll tell you that climate change is real, I have lived in Whitby for 30 years and I have seen the changes.
“The Government has been dithering for too long on this issue and as for the people in the White House, I don’t know if they think they can go live up a mountain when the rest of the world is under water.
“This problem needs tackling now.”
By Carl Gavaghan
28 December 2007
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