A Government decision to build a 260ft monitoring mast on the site of a proposed multi-million pound windfarm near the Yorkshire Coast has been slammed by a local councillor who has labelled the move a “sad day for democracy”.
Plans for the mast on the site at Hunmanby, near Filey, have been approved on appeal, despite originally being thrown out by Scarborough Council in June.
Chairman of Hunmanby Parish Council Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff said: “Although this is a blow, the fight will go on. Localism said no but the Government said yes. Local opinion was very clear but yet again the Planning Inspectorate gets to over rule public opinion. I think it’s a very sad day for democracy.
“If the Government wants local people to engage, it needs to consider the way things are pushed through by people who don’t live in the communities concerned.”
Opposition has been mounting to the scheme that would see as many as 14 475ft turbines built amid claims the wind farm would ruin the views.
But the development director at Banks Renewables, Phil Dyke, maintained the company remains committed to the South Dale project to build the wind farm.
He said: “We felt that we had very strong grounds for appeal against the council’s decision to reject our test mast application, and are naturally very pleased that the Planning Inspector has agreed with our submissions.”
He added: “The South Dale scheme would represent a significant capital investment by Banks in the local economy at a time when few companies are undertaking such projects, and could produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual power requirements of approximately 26,500 homes.”
Banks is currently involved in consultations with Scarborough Council and the local community before its submits a detailed application, which it is planning to do by the end of the year.
The company is looking to make an investment of around £35m in the South Dale wind farm.
The monitoring mast will be built in the next few weeks and will gather data for the next three years.
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