Campaigners against a controversial wind farm in a Yorkshire beauty spot have vowed to fight the development now that plans have formally been submitted to Craven Council.
German company, EnergieKontor UK Ltd, has earmarked land at Brightenber Hill, about 10km from Skipton, for a renewable energy wind farm consisting of five turbines which would each be 100 metres tall and an electricity substation.
A Craven Council spokesman said that the proposal will now be advertised, notices displayed at the site and letters written to nearby residents.
Then, there will be 21 days to voice any objections before the Council’s planning committee meets to make the final decision.
Chris Emmett, of pressure group, Friends of Craven Landscape, which was formed to fight the proposals, said: “These massive turbines will be clearly visible beyond Malham Cove in the National Park, over seven miles away, yet the Planning Department has only consulted people living within three miles of the site.”
The scheme’s opponents claim the wind farm will be a blot on the landscape and fears it will have a detrimental effect on tourism as well as local wildlife.
EnergieKontor project manager Conrad Atkinson said: “We undertook a series of public exhibitions prior to submitting the planning application and we have had some very positive responses,” he said.
But people living near the site fear building work will adversely affect surrounding roads.
Two stretches within the boundary of the proposed wind farm would be widened so vehicles can reach the site. One includes Marton Road where about 13 trees would be removed.
Gledstone Gardens nursery owner Peter Leighton, said: “Marton Road is the only access to our business premises. I have to commit now to our 2009 season, without knowing if customers will be able to get to us.”
Mr Atkinson said that 49 vehicles would use Gledstone Road during while the wind farm is built and that, having spoken to Mr Leighton, he understood the bulk of his business was during spring and summer when EnergieKontor was not planning to transport components.
Local residents, Trevor and Jenny Bryan are among those opposing the plans.
Mrs Bryan said: “They will have a dramatic effect on people and blight the surrounding area. They will be seen from miles around.”
Sean and Leslie Lockyear live in a Grade II listed building nearby.
Mrs Lockyear said: “Marton Road will undoubtedly be closed. There will be disruption from road works and then again during the heavy plant movement. How are residents supposed to get to work, take children to school or go about their daily lives? We’ll be hemmed in.”
EnergieKontor said they proposed planting more than 50 trees on the site to compensate for those lost on Marton Road if the scheme does go ahead.
The firm is also proposing to donate part of the land where Marton Road would be widened to the local highways authority.
Mr Atkinson said: “There is a fairly tight bend there anyway and it would be a permanent development to benefit other road users.”
Earlier this year, councillors let the firm erect a 60-metre mast to measure winds in the area.
By Fiona Evans
30 July 2008
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