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Wind farm protestors hit back at allegations

Windfarm protestors have hit back at claims they are doing more harm than good to their communities.

A report commissioned by RenewableUK, the trade association for the wind energy industry, said that campaigners against turbines were costing the country £1.3bn.

Speaking to the YEP, Nick Medic of RenewableUK said the campaigners were a “vociferous minority” who are “doing more harm to their communities than they realise” and he claimed that turbines brought jobs to local people.

But the view has been condemned by Stop Woodlane Windfarm protestors who are trying to prevent 30 125-metre high turbines at Woodlane near Selby, Bishopwood near Hambleton and Byram near Knottingley.

They claim there is no benefit to local communities but plenty of negative effects.

Howard Ferguson, who lives near the Woodlane proposed development, said: “They contribute nothing to the community”.

Mr Ferguson said that turbines can be built as close as 400m from houses and are a visual eyesore because of their height.

He added that there is no strategy for where they can be built so there can be many schemes over an area. He said: “It is a free for all.”

He added: “They want to take over the countryside and make it windfarm city.”

Mr Ferguson said that local communities do not benefit from schemes as the turbines are made elsewhere and maintained and run by companies based outside the areas.

He said the only “payback” of such schemes was the setting up of community funds by turbine companies which are offered to locals to decide what they want to spend the money on. But Mr Ferguson believes that the lower property values resulting from the projects outweighs any such gain.

He also said that while the Government is considering letting councils keep the business rates revenue from windfarms to encourage more being built, the local authorities will at the same time lose revenue from lower council taxes as properties become worth less due to the presence of turbines.