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Wind farm plan puzzle  

Credit:  Malton & Pickering Mercury, www.maltonmercury.co.uk 23 March 2011 ~~

A Ryedale couple are still in the dark over whether plans will go ahead to build a windfarm near their home.

Paul and Roz Stephens, who featured in the Mercury last summer, say an application by a German-backed company to install up to 10 wind turbines with blades up to 125 metres high has still not materialised.

Mr Stephens of Moor Farm, West Heslerton, said this week: “We are still waiting to see if it is going for planning permission. We hope it does not go ahead but at present it is causing a great deal of uncertainty.”

Last year their first clues came when they spotted an anemometer mast had been put up to measure wind speed and a representative from RWE Npower Renewables visited them.

The firm submitted a “scoping” report to Ryedale Council last August with the intention of submitting a planning application in November – but since then nothing has materialised.

One theory is that the delay could be because the Government is reviewing the subsidies provided to wind farms and there have also been reports that a landowner involved has been concerned about the number of complaints.

A bid to install at turbine at Thixendale was thwarted after complaints from objectors including Staxton Radar.

The British Horse Society has objected to the West Heslerton plan because the turbines would be just 200 metres from a bridleway rather than the recommended 400 metres.

To make matters worse, Mr Stephens points out he has had an airstrip for 41 years and the wind farm would cut across part of the flight path used by their Robin DR500 light aircraft and which Mr Stephens – who calls it his “Land-Rover” – needs to get an overall view of the crops on his 900 acre farm.

“The Civil Aviation Authority recommends a distance of 3,000 metres but these would be within 2,000 metres.

“There is a lot of local objection and most of the local landowners are doing so, too,” he said.

He also objects to the fact that any subsidy provided to the firm means the money would be going out of the country and the machines would not be made here.

The firm has argued that onshore wind farms were “vital” if the UK was going to make its contribution to the global effort to tackle climate change, but Mr Stephens was critical of claims made about the amount of power generated from them.

“The price we would pay for them would be having the Wolds spoilt and the firm would be making the profit,” said Mr Stephens.

The couple have set up a website www.heslertonwindfarm.com

Source:  Malton & Pickering Mercury, www.maltonmercury.co.uk 23 March 2011

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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