A wind farm company has been given approval to put up a test mast in Craven.
Temporary three-year permission was given for the 200ft (60m) meteorological mast at the site at Brightenber Hill, close to East Marton.
On Monday, Craven District Council’s planning committee heard that the steel mast, supported by guy wires, was needed to test wind conditions and would be used to determine the type of wind turbines to be used at the site. At their meeting last month, councillors argued that the test mast was premature because an application for a wind farm had not been submitted – although one was expected shortly.
But they were reminded all planning applications should be determined on their own merit and the temporary structure was felt to have limited impact on the surrounding countryside.
Councillors, who visited the site before this week’s meeting, also heard from Christopher Emmett, of the newly formed Friends of Craven Landscape.
He argued that the mast would look out of place in the open countryside.
Chris Ganey, from German-owned applicants EnergieKontor, said that the mast was needed for a minimum of 12 months to gain data. “We need to make sure that we choose the right type of wind turbine, should wind turbines be built on this site,” he said.
Coun David Heather said the mast would be totally out of character with its surroundings.
“On bright days, the light will catch it and it will be even more visible,” he said.
Coun Paul Whitaker said that the mast would give a good indication of the height of the expected wind turbines.
EnergieKontor is expected to shortly submit an application for five wind turbines at the site.
11 April 2008
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