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Fresh call to scrap Chelker turbines plan

Water company bosses should scrap plans for 80-metre tall wind turbines at the Chelker Reservoir after continuing strong opposition at another public consultation, says a group against the scheme.

Parishioners Against Chelker Turbines (PACT) chairman, Peter Rigby, said 90 per cent of people polled at a public consultation meeting in Draughton last Wednesday were against the latest scheme being drawn up for Kelda Water Services.

He is now calling on the firm – a Yorkshire Water sister company – to give up on the scheme.

KWS recently withdrew a planning application for three turbines to replace the four ageing turbines already at the scenic spot, at least two of which are permanently out of action.

The company is now carrying out a public consultation on proposals for just two turbines – but has not reduced the height.

In a PACT statement, Mr Rigby said: “Kelda gave people very little notice and the weather was poor, so we were grateful that so many came to tell the developers just what they thought.

“Ninety per cent told us they were against the scheme. The results of our earlier poll at last week’s Addingham event were much the same. It’s time Kelda got the message and scrapped their plans.”

A long time Chelker resident, Vanessa Leigh, whose home is the closest to the proposed western turbine, likened the local opposition to KWS’ scheme to the battle between David and Goliath.

KWS wants to use the turbines to power two nearby water pumping stations, which pump water from the Chelker Reeservoir to homes in the Skipton area and Wharfedale. The company says the wind-generated power will go part of the way towards meeting the large energy bill for the site.