Villagers are opposing a move to install a weather monitoring mast as tall as York Minster near their homes in North Yorkshire.
A planning application has been submitted to place the 165ft slender aluminium pole on land at Yorkshire Water’s treatment works at Elvington to measure wind speed and direction as well as temperature.
The measuring devices on the mast would be used to glean information to decide if it is feasible to install a wind turbine on the Kexby Lane site.
Elvington Parish Council has voiced concerns that the mast would be too close to homes and the village school. Residential properties are less than 440 yards from the proposed site.
Fears have also been expressed over noise pollution that would be generated by a wind turbine and villagers have claimed that the mast would cause property prices to fall.
York Council has received 42 letters of objection. Members will consider the planning application on Thursday.
A report by council officers has stated that while the proposals constitute inappropriate development on green belt land, the plans are in line with Government guidance on renewable energy.
The mast itself would be just short of the highest point on the Minster, according to the report.
Development control officer Matthew Parkinson stressed that while the mast would not directly act as a form of renewable energy, the information gathered would help Yorkshire Water decide whether to press ahead with plans for a turbine.
Mr Parkinson claimed a decision to grant permission for the mast would not suggest support for a future wind turbine, which would have to be “assessed on its own merits” through a further planning application.
He also recognised that the mast is due to be in place for only 18 months while tests are carried out, and maintained that its slim design with a seven-inch diameter would not impinge visually on the area.
Despite the objections of villagers Mr Parkinson has recommended that the planning application should be granted.
By Paul Jeeves
10 March 2008
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