- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

‘Turbine firms see us as a soft touch’

Countryside campaigners claim East Yorkshire has become a “soft touch” for wind farm developers.

It comes after it emerged England’s biggest onshore wind farm could be built in the county.

Campaigners say a 26-turbine development would spoil views of historic Beverley Minister and picturesque Hornsea Mere.

Scottish Power could put the turbines on a huge swathe of farmland running from the southern edge of the mere to Skirlaugh.

Margaret Cockbill, chairman of the East Yorkshire Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said: “We are extremely concerned about this latest proposal. East Yorkshire has already met its target for wind farms and I’m afraid the area has become a soft touch for the developers.

“At the rate wind farm plans are coming forward, the region’s countryside will soon be obliterated by massive turbines.”

Scottish Power is informing landowners about its proposals, but organisations like the CPRE, local authorities and residents have been left in the dark so far.

Jonathan Sharp, a farmer who has lived at Middle Farm, Little Hatfield, for 20 years, received a letter.

He said: “I’m not keen myself. We certainly have more than our fair share of turbines.

“It is a flat, high area so the turbines would have a visual impact for miles.

“It would be detrimental to the beauty and value of the area.”

Letters are being sent to landowners by engineering support services company Babcock on behalf of Scottish Power, asking if the proposal would interest them.

Denys Fell, of Densholme Farm, Great Hatfield, near Hornsea, said: “Scottish Power have not contacted me, but I’ve received about ten similar such letters over the past seven years.

“Renewable energy businesses are casting the net and looking at every area of East Yorkshire which has the potential for wind turbines.

“I’m not opposed to wind farms if they meet the criteria and planning conditions, because they produce green energy and an additional income for the landowner.”

One of the biggest landowners in the area, Rise Park Estate, near Skirlaugh, was unaware of Scottish Power’s plans.

Jim Rawson, estate manager, said: “They have not contacted us, so I can’t really comment.”

Michael Hood, owner of Hornsea Mere, said: “Without seeing the plans and knowing how visible the turbines would be, it is a tricky one to comment on.

“Depending on what reports you read, some experts say wind turbines are beneficial and others not so.

“I will have to see the plans and see the visual impact they would have.”

Jim Pullen, acting secretary of the Hornsea and North Holderness Countryside Society, added: “As a club, we have always maintained a non-political stance. Generally, if any proposal is detrimental to wildlife or the environment we would be against it.”