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Norman church set to draw attention to wind farm fear

A 1,000-year-old North Yorkshire church is hosting an event to raise awareness of two proposed wind farms which residents’ claim will swamp the ancient building and its surrounding village.

The event is taking place tomorrow at St Mary’s Church, Birkin, near Selby, one of the best preserved Norman churches in the country that dates back to 1140, in protest at what critics have dubbed a “21st century tragedy” with two wind farms containing 23 giant turbines proposed close to the village.

To raise awareness of the proposed wind farms at Byram and Woodlane, a balloon will be flown 410ft above the village on Saturday – what residents claim will be the height of the turbines once built.

Howard Ferguson, a member of the Stop Woodlane Wind Farm action group, said: “This is a wonderful Norman church that has stood in its location for nearly 1,000 years.

“When you approach the church you are travelling through open countryside, if these wind farms get built then it will spoil the view every way you look.

“When the planning application first went in, more than 70 per cent of residents submitted a letter objecting to it – we are going to keep fighting this as well.”

The church open day is an annual event to raise funds and to raise awareness of its local history.

On Saturday, three guides will be on hand to show visitors around the building and historic church records will also be placed on display.

A 1914 Rolls-Royce will also be exhibited.

The free event starts from 10am and lasts all day.