The latest attempt to build a wind farm on the Holderness coast is generating a howl of protest.
A planning inspector is hearing four days of evidence this week as part of an appeal by developers Energiekontor UK Ltd to build a three-turbine facility between Hilston and Tunstall, after it had two applications for planning permission rejected by East Riding Council.
The turbines would generate between six and 7.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power between 3,000 and 4,000 homes a year.
But people living near the site say it would “devastate” their communities as it would, along with other wind farms already given approval, leave them surrounded by turbines sited at every point of the compass.
It would also dominate the skyline around Tunstall’s 900-year-old Grade I listed All Saints’ Church, the focal point of the village.
Christine Midgley, of the Hilston and Tunstall Residents’ Association, which is campaigning against the project, said: “Our main objections are that it’s going to devastate the village because Tunstall is one main street, a Grade One church and the village green.
“We were horrified when we looked at the visualisations because these things will dominate the church.”
Residents spoke against the plan in a public meeting at Roos Memorial Hall.
Mrs Midgley said: “Many residents in the communities of Roos, Burton Pidsea, Tunstall, Hilston and North End would have views of wind farms in different directions and some residents would have views of them over 360 degrees.
“Residents fear that by being surrounded by wind turbines it will feel like living in a wind farm.
“For the residents of Tunstall and other coastal communities, the situation could even be worse because the extensive offshore wind farm at Westernmost Rough will fill the sea horizon to the east.
“Significantly, no one at the meeting stood up to support the wind farm. People in the area feel that they have already done their bit to contribute to national targets for renewable energy and that Monkwith (the site is named after a village that has been lost to the sea) is a step too far.”
Other wind farms already given approval in the area include nine turbines at Roos, nine at Witherenwick, three at Tedder Hill, and three at Burton Pidsea.
Mrs Midgley said the campaign against the turbines has the backing of 43 town and parish councils in East Yorkshire. A total of 23 of them are in Holderness, representing 86 per cent of all Holderness parishes.
More than 500 letters of objection were submitted to the planning authority last year, including 32 from outside the East Riding.
A total of 13 letters in support of the scheme were also written.
The East Riding has already met its renewable energy targets for the next decade, another bone of contention to opponents of the scheme.
Beverley and Holderness Tory MP Graham Stuart has written to the inquiry outlining his own concerns.
He wrote: “While I fully understand and appreciate the need for renewable energy sources, I cannot agree with the heavy handed way these plans are being forced on the people who live in Holderness.
“The position of the Hilston site, if approved, would mean an unprecedented three wind farm projects all being built in the same parish.”
Mr Stuart added: “How can this not be regarded as having a major visual impact, how can it not be seen as having a cumulative effect which will lead to an apparent industrialisation of a beautiful rural area?”
TURBINE OR NOT TURBINE…
The Tunstall turbines would be 111 metres high to the top of a vertical blade and would each generate up to 2.5 megawatts of electricity.
They would be connected by underground cables to a substation, and from there to the local distribution grid.
The wind farm would operate for about 20 years, after which the equipment would be removed and the land restored to its original condition.
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