A wind turbine may be looming over a local village in a few years time.
Yorkshire Water has submitted a planning application for a 50-metre wind monitoring mast at its water treatment plant at Elvington.
If approved, the mast will be secured with guy ropes and will monitor the speed, direction and quantity of wind to find out whether a wind turbine would be viable for the area. If it is found that it is, then a separate planning application would have to be submitted for the turbine.
Two of the structures that have been put up by Yorkshire Water at its Loftsome Bridge water treatment works, near Hemingbrough, are 90 metres tall, although a spokesman for Yorkshire Water said it was too early to speculate on the dimensions of any turbine at Elvington.
But Ian Bailey, chairman of Elvington Parish Council said he was very worried about the prospect of wind turbines in the village.
He said: “I’m extremely concerned that there is the possibility of a wind farm being located only 300 metres away from a residential area and in particular because these wind farms have generators that are 90 metres high which is almost the height of Big Ben.”
Coun Bailey said he had been to see the wind turbines at Loftsome Bridge and described them as “horrendous”. But he added that there are very few homes at that site, whereas in Elvington the turbines would be visible from hundreds of homes.
Christian Vassie, the ward councillor for Elvington, said he was broadly in favour of wind turbines, although thought that Yorkshire Water might need to consider providing the community with something that benefits local people.
He said: “The feelings of residents are of great importance and Yorkshire Water needs to do a lot to communicate to residents exactly what they are proposing and why.
“In principle, I do believe we need to move towards more renewable energy production but I think one of the main obstacles is that there are companies who want to install these things but the local community never has an investment in it.”
Yorkshire Water is applying for the monitoring mast as it says that a tighter regulatory regime and higher standards of water quality would force the company to invest in more power-intensive treatment processes. The company also expects electricity prices to rise.
If a wind turbine was erected it says greenhouse emissions would be reduced and customers and share holders would also get the best value for their money.
Elvington Parish Council will discuss the application for a wind monitoring mast at its meeting next Tuesday, at 7.30pm, in the village hall.
By Richard Harris
10 January 2008
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