Villagers are being urged to pen their objections to show “the strength of feeling” against a proposed 50-metre mast for Elvington.
Parish councillors have lodged their opposition to Yorkshire Water’s bid to install a wind monitoring mast at its water treatment plant at Elvington.
Now they are urging residents to follow suit by appealing to City of York Council.
If approved, the mast will monitor the speed, direction and quantity of wind to determine whether a wind turbine would be viable for the area. A separate planning application would have to be submitted for a turbine.
Council chairman Ian Bailey said: “We hope very much that individual residents will write individual letters of objection to show the strength of feeling.
“While everyone is supportive of environmental issues and natural generation of energy, we consider it completely inappropriate to have masts close to residential communities.”
Councillors’ key objections include the “excessive visual impact on the whole village”, and the proposed mast’s proximity to residents.
They highlight the fact that it will be about 450 metres from Derwent Close and 380 metres from the nearest residential area, Riverside Gardens, while many other houses exist within a 500 metre radius.
“The village school is only 550 metres away,” writes David Headlam, parish council clerk .
“The height of the proposed mast is just short of the highest point on York Minster.”
It is also claimed the site is not secure, although Yorkshire Water said the formal security gates were always locked.
The council also claims residents have been given “insufficient opportunity to comment”.
Fears have also been raised about how quality of life could be affected by potential noise, flickering shadows and strobe effect’ caused by the mast, as well as concerns about the impact on local birdlife.
As previously reported, Yorkshire Water is applying for the mast as it claims a tighter regulatory regime and higher standards of water quality would force it to invest in more power-intensive treatment processes. The company also expects electricity prices to rise.
A spokeswoman stressed the construction of a wind turbine would not go ahead without full consultation.
She said: “The wind mast proposed at the water treatment works is simply to assess whether the conditions at the site are suitable for the generation of energy from wind.
“If the wind mast does indicate the conditions are suitable, there will be a full consultation process involving local residents, parish councils and the local authority to take into account any concerns.
“We would reassure our customers that the construction of a wind turbine only goes ahead after extensive consultation. This also involves talking to organisations such as the RSPB to ensure bird life is not affected and to the local aviation authority to consider the aviation impact.”
By Nadia Jefferson-Brown
20 January 2008
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