A heritage group has called for controversial plans for a wind farm on the edge of York to be blocked because it fears views of the Minster will be wrecked.
Turbines twice the height of the historic cathedral could be created near the A64 at Copmanthorpe through a scheme being considered by green energy firm Banks Renewables.
The company says the Hagg Wood project would provide enough power for 8,300 homes, but it has been criticised by local residents, and York Civic Trust has added its voice to the opposition ranks, saying the turbines would blight “distant views” of the Minster from areas such as Garrowby Hill and Ingrish Hill at Bilbrough.
In a letter to City of York Council’s planning department, the trust’s director Peter Brown said it was carrying out an appraisal of views over York and the Minster had “crucial significance”, adding: “We have analysed a number of locations around the city and the wind farm will cause serious harm.
“Even from as far afield as Terrington or the White Horse on Sutton Bank, the turbines will dominate the skyline and seriously compromise the fine views of the city. We fully understand and support the need to reduce the carbon footprint for York but, in our view, this is not the right solution.”
James Alexander, who leads the council’s Labour group, is among those to receive the trust’s letter, saying: “Labour is supportive of wind farms, but I query whether this is the right location.”
Banks Renewables development director Phil Dyke said: “We are still at a very early stage in the project and there is currently no planning application.
“The final details of this proposal, such as the number and height of turbines, are a considerable way from being confirmed. We are actively engaging with as many people as possible to ensure everybody is able to express their opinions about our plans and can make up their minds based on accurate information.
“This feedback will be a crucial part of the design work which goes into creating our final proposal. We are confident we will be able to design a scheme which is efficient, environmentally acceptable and able to bring significant benefits to local people.”
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