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Mast ranks celebrate as turbine bid rejected

Controversial plans to carry out research for a multi-million pound wind farm on the outskirts of York have been blocked by councillors.

Developers from a green energy firm, Banks Renewables, had submitted a planning application to York Council to place a 230ft wind monitoring mast at the village of Copmanthorpe.

But members of the council’s west and city centre area planning sub-committee yesterday refused to grant permission for the mast, which would have helped to select the most suitable site for the wind farm.

More than 100 members of the public were at the Guildhall for the meeting.

The planning sub-committee’s deputy chairman, Coun Ian Gillies, was instrumental in blocking the application after proposing it should be refused.

Coun Gillies, who is the chairman of the council’s Tory group, said: “The protection of green belt land should always be a priority, and this would have been a completely inappropriate development. This is also a victory for the people living nearby who had voiced very serious concerns about the plans.”

Banks Renewables had drawn up proposals to build up to five 475ft turbines, each costing £2.5m, at Copmanthorpe, as well as another wind farm at Hunmanby, near Filey. The Copmanthorpe wind farm would generate enough electricity each year to power about 8,300 homes.

An application for a monitoring mast at Hunmanby was refused in April by Scarborough Borough Council, although Banks Renewables has announced it is appealing the decision.

The development director at Banks Renewables, Phil Dyke, claimed the firm was “very disappointed” with York Council’s decision.

He added: “We will now await confirmation of the exact reasons for this decision before deciding on our next steps.”