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Park planning chief adds his backing to campaign against wind farm

The director of planning at North York Moors National Park Authority is the latest opponent to object to plans for a wind farm in the Yorkshire Wolds.

Developers from RWE Npower renewables wants to build 10 413ft high turbines at West Heslerton near Malton, generating power for as many as 10,000 homes.

However, the scheme has already attracted opposition from national bodies including English Heritage and Natural England.

More locally, campaigners say they have now persuaded 24 nearby parish councils also to lodge objections.

Park authority planning director Chris France has written to Ryedale District Council to express his own concerns. In his letter, he argues that the wind farm would “introduce a highly intrusive form of development … owing to its scale”. He adds that the proposal is contrary to Government guidelines “relating to the siting of renewable energy projects outside but close to designated areas”.

But RWE Npower renewables developer, Martin Wood, claimed there is support for the plans, and said: “With all our sites we make extensive efforts to establish whether they are an appropriate location for a wind farm. This is a fantastic site with a great wind resource. During our public consultations we’ve identified a high level of support which is really encouraging.

“A number of positive comments have been sent to the planning authority.”

He also stressed the wind farm would be designed to have least impact on the landscape and the firm was listening to concerns. A planning application submitted to Ryedale District Council in March should be decided this year.