Plans for a controversial wind testing mast on the banks of a reservoir have been thrown out by councillors.
The application by Kelda Water Services, a sister company of Yorkshire Water, to build a temporary 50m anemometer mast on the banks of Thornton Steward Reservoir had sparked anger among local residents, who said it would spoil the beauty spot.
More than 160 individual objections were received by Richmondshire District Council, although the Yorkshire Dales National Park and air traffic controllers had no objections.
There were objections from the British Horse Society, which maintains a bridleway around the reservoir, and the two local parish meetings.
The planning committee was warned by officers that it could only make a decision on the plans for the wind testing mast, not on the possibility of future wind turbines that could be built depending on the results.
Keith Loadman, the local ward member, said: “I would be completely against any mast being built on this site. It is too close to the bridleway and it would have to be moved further away.
“Yorkshire Water own vast amounts of land so why do they have to test with a wind mast by a reservoir as small as this one? I don’t think that this is a case of nimby-ism from local people, I think the back yard simply isn’t big enough for this proposal.”
Other councillors also expressed reservations about the plans for the mast, which they said would spoil the local landscape.
The council had previously granted permission for a similar mast to be built at another point on the reservoir in 2007 and were warned that refusal to grant permission for this mast could leave them at risk of a successful appeal by Yorkshire Water.
However, Coun John Blackie, leader of the council, said: “We have been told that we are not to look to the future when we decide this application. In that case, we should not have to look to the past either.
“The 2007 application was for a different location so it is not the same and we should not be bound by it.”
Yorkshire Water were contacted for a comment but failed to return calls.
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