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Kelda Water Services withdraw plan after opposition from locals

Controversial plans for three 80-metre high wind turbines at Chelker Reservoir have been scrapped, it has been revealed.

Kelda Water Services had wanted to replace four 45-metre high turbines with three 80-metre structures to power Yorkshire Water’s nearby Chelker and Lobwood pumping stations.

But after much criticism and opposition to the plans, a spokesman for KWS, a sister company to Bradford-based Yorkshire Water, last night revealed the planning application has been withdrawn.

However, Mark Fox said KWS intended to carry out a public consultation with residents in the area, particularly Draughton and Addingham, with a view to submitting new plans later in the year for two 80m-high turbines on the site.

“We’re going to engage in a new process of public consultation and dialogue,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to put in a completely fresh application, following public consultation, for two turbines of 80m-tall.”

He admitted there had been a lot of opposition to the plans for three new turbines, but said the idea behind the new consultation is to put the record straight.

“That’s why we’re going out to public consultation with all this,” he said.

“We want to let people know the true facts rather than the misinformation and misunderstanding.

“We’re currently in the process of sending out letters to everyone concerned as well.”

An open event as part of the public consultation is due to take place at Addingham Golf Club from noon to 8pm on Wednesday, July 13.

It is the second time KWS plans for new turbines at the reservoir site have been thwarted.

A previous plan for two 125m turbines was rejected by Craven District Council in 2009 after strong opposition from residents.

Kelda carried out a consultation exercise last year over its new proposals and said the feedback at a public exhibition and comments session held in nearby Addingham was “generally positive”.

But an increasing number of opposition voices emerged during the debate, including several statutory bodies and authorities, with the Yorkshire Dales National Parks Authority objecting to the plan in April, while last month, Addingham Parish Council also said they were against the proposals.