The views of two of Beverley’s most iconic buildings could be ruined if plans to create a wind farm are given the go-ahead, according to East Riding Council.
The local authority warned stunning views of the Minster and St Mary’s Church would be obscured – especially from the Westwood – if 12 huge turbines were allowed to be built at the village of Routh.
A public inquiry into the controversial plans by RidgeWind Ltd to site the 100m-high turbines at Hall Farm began at the council offices in Skirlaugh yesterday.
Megan Thomas, representing the council, maintains the visual impact would be significant and provides grounds for refusal.
She also argued the East Riding was already set to exceed its renewable energy targets.
Miss Thomas said: “Views of the townscape and landscape from the Westwood are cherished views and are by no means ordinary.
“The turbines would contrast starkly with the pastoral, parkland nature of the Westwood.
“In light of the number of operational and consented wind turbine schemes in the area, the need for this particular one is not overwhelmingly compelling.
“The landscape and heritage harm can be justifiably avoided by refusing permission.”
Local residents have also voiced concerns, with 22 of the 26 nearby households objecting to the plans.
Representative Barry Norton insisted the development would impact on their quality of life.
In a statement submitted to the inquiry, he said: “The impact is significant and unacceptable to the historic landscape and views of Holderness Plain, which are protected by local development policies.
“The turbines will be a blot on the landscape, which need not, and should not, be there.”
But the developers claim the wind farm would bring a £5m economic boost to the region.
David Goodman, representing RidgeWind Ltd, said any negatives would be outweighed by the positives and there was a need for greener forms of energy.
He told the inquiry: “It is clear the development will not have a significant harmful effect.
“Any effects that may be adverse must be weighed with the policy support for this form of development and the benefit it would bring.
“It is evident those benefits far outweigh any adverse effects.”
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has warned the plans could endanger aircraft flying over the region.
In the Ministry’s statement to the inquiry, Squadron Leader Neal Henley said he believed the turbines could interfere with radars, which were vital in guiding aircraft and identifying potential threats.
He explained the Air Surveillance and Control System (ASACS), which uses the radars, helped avoid mid-air collisions.
Sqd Ldr Henley said: “It is assessed the proposed wind farm developments at Hall Farm would have an unacceptable impact upon the operations controlled by the ASACS force.
“Therefore, the MoD strongly objects to the proposed wind farm as it will jeopardise both air surveillance and the safe control of aircraft.”
The public inquiry into the proposed wind farm at Routh continues.
2 July 2008
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