Horse riders have joined the fight against plans to put up to four wind turbines on land near Errington Woods, New Marske.
Riders fear the wind turbines will be an accident waiting to happen as some horses might be frightened of them, their shadows and the noise they make.
Campaigners also say there are concerns about the damage that would be done to existing paths by heavy machinery transporting turbines to the site.
As reported, plans have been put forward by energy company Infinis for a 60m mast to monitor wind conditions on Beacon Moor at the top of Errington Woods near Upleatham village with a view to erecting four 115m turbines.
The proposal is scheduled to go before Redcar and Cleveland Council next year.
Marie Levy, chairman of Saltburn and District Bridleways Group, which has more than 100 members in the area, said: “We are against these plans as not only would wind turbines ruin the beautiful landscape, they would be a risk to the safety of riders using the surrounding bridleways and permissive routes.
“If riders feel unsafe, they may feel forced to ride elsewhere which will mean more horses on the roads.
“We don’t understand why anyone would want to spoil this area for the sake of four wind turbines when there are already plans for a large offshore wind farm near Redcar.
“It can’t be argued that horses will get used to wind turbines over time as the bridleways in Errington Woods often attract riders from outside of the area as they are regularly used for pleasure rides and long distance competitions.
“British Horse Society guidance recommends wind turbines are at least three times their height away from any bridleways or roads.”
A spokesman for Infinis Wind Holdings said the firm is undertaking early stage feasibility and planning work to assess the potential for a wind farm on Beacon Moor.
He said: “As studies progress, we hope to form a community liaison group of representatives from various local groups who will receive detailed information about the project and to provide feedback to help any eventual development to sit well within the local surroundings.
“We’re keen to recognise the valuable role the bridleways group has played in developing the recreational value of this site and they will have a lot of valuable knowledge to bring to the liaison group.
“It’s our intention that the agricultural and amenity value of the site and its surroundings are preserved while generating sufficient renewable energy to power 4,000 or more households.”
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