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Relocated windfarm plan ready for approval despite opposition  

Credit:  By Simon Bristow, Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 12 August 2010 ~~

Riders competing in England’s oldest horse race could soon have an ultra-modern landmark overlooking their route under plans to build a small wind farm in the East Riding.

For generations, the rugged rural landscape that provides the backdrop to the Kiplingcotes Derby has changed little, but now the unspoilt scene could be sacrificed in the drive to create more renewable energy.

A previous attempt to build two 20-metre turbines at Wallis Grange Farm, to the south-east of the start line, was blocked as they were deemed to be too close to a neighbouring property, Ridgehill Cottage – even though the occupant backed the idea.

A fresh application for planning permission, which places the masts 360 metres away from the cottage, is now being recommended for approval by planning officers.

However, the revised plans are still strongly opposed by Etton Parish Council – for three reasons.

Councillors say the turbines would have an adverse visual impact on the Wolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

They also cite the development’s “detrimental effect” on the racecourse and associated tourism.

Thirdly, they point out that the East Riding has already met its renewable energy targets for 2021 after a raft of windfarm applications were approved – some imposed by the Government on appeal after the initial applications were turned down by the local planning authority.

The parish council said: “The cumulative impact of such schemes which provide no benefit to the community will be that many residents in the East Riding will be surrounded by wind farms.”

The turbines would produce renewable energy for the farm and reduce CO2 emissions by 41 tonnes a year.

A report to East Riding Council’s eastern area planning committee – which will consider the application next Monday – said that archaeologists must be given access to explore the site before any development, is it is “highly sensitive” and may have been settled before the Bronze Age.

Nine burial mounds close to the site have already been identified as being of national importance, and there is evidence of others, two to the immediate south of the proposed development.

The site is also surrounded on all sides by crop marks – considered to be a significant heritage asset.

The report said construction should be suspended if necessary to accommodate the archaeological work.

The report concludes: “The proposed development is small scale and it is considered that the proposed turbines are well sited to include woodland screening to the east which also forms a blending backdrop when viewed from the west.

“Climate change is a priority for Government policy at present..and developments should not be refused on landscape grounds.

“It is now considered that the proposed turbines are acceptable in terms of the impact upon nearby properties, the visual character and appearance of the landscape and the open countryside and is therefore recommended for approval.”

The Kiplingcotes Derby was first run in 1519 and takes place on the third Thursday in March, often in adverse weather conditions and always across a challenging surface of grass verges and country lanes.

Rules drawn up in 1618 describe “A horse race to be observed and ridd yearly on the third Thursday in March; open to horses of all ages, to convey horsemen’s weight, ten stones, exclusive of saddle, to enter ye post before eleven o’clock on the morning of ye race. The race to be run before two”.

Source:  By Simon Bristow, Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 12 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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