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Inquiry looms amid storm of protest over turbines plan  

Credit:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 23 May 2011 ~~

D-Day is nearing for campaigners who have raised £65,000 in their fight to save a tiny East Yorkshire village from becoming the centre of a huge wind farm.

Residents in Spaldington – which has a population of only 150 – have raised the remarkable sum to try to stop proposals for 12 turbines, standing more than 400ft tall, in two developments just over a mile apart.

The Spaldington Turbine Opposition Protest group (STOP) won the first battle against developers Falck and Volkswind, when both applications were turned down by East Riding Council last year. Both companies appealed against the decision, leaving villagers no choice but to fight a public inquiry which begins tomorrow.

STOP will be represented by barrister Tina Douglas, who has a track record of winning appeals on behalf of other campaign groups, as well as a landscape expert Michelle Bulger at the three-week public inquiry in Goole.

STOP chairman Paul Taylor said public debate had intensified on the effectiveness of wind farms, following news that wind farms had been given six-figure payments to switch off their turbines because the Scottish grid network could not absorb all the energy being produced.

One of the main concerns is the effect of multiple developments on historic views of Howden. Within a 12.5-mile radius of Spaldington, 90 turbines have either been built or got planning permission.

Mr Taylor said: “People feel so strongly that they have scrimped and saved, used their own savings or borrowed, dug as deep as they can. Virtually every house will be able to see at least one turbine if this goes ahead.”

However the trade body representing wind companies, RenewableUK says wind has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last seven years and the trend is expected to continue with falling costs of wind energy, energy security threats and the need to tackle CO2 emissions. To meet targets, it estimates that £60bn of investment will be needed in wind, both onshore and offshore.

Source:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 23 May 2011

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