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Energy giant scraps ‘monster’ wind farm plan for East Riding

Plans to build England’s biggest onshore wind farm in the East Riding have been scrapped – just days after being revealed by the Mail.

Scottish Power was considering putting up to 26 turbines on more than 1,700 acres of land between Hornsea and Skirlaugh.

The farm, revealed in Saturday’s Mail, could have passed through Skirlaugh, Long Riston, Whitedale, Sigglesthorne, Great Hatfield, Old Ellerby and end close to Hornsea Mere.

It would have dominated the skyline, prompting residents and councillors to hit out at the “monster” wind farm proposals.

However, little over a week after sending letters out to landowners to gauge their interest in selling up, the company has shelved the plans.

A spokesman said it was because it had received little interest from landowners, but it is believed the move has also been prompted by the outrage after the Mail’s story.

East Riding councillor Matthew Grove, who represents Mid Holderness, said: “I’m quite shocked they have scrapped the idea in a couple of days.

“I wonder if people power and the fact the Mail revealed the plans has anything to do with it.

“I do think we should keep on our guard though, in case we receive news of similar proposals in the future.”

Mail Editor John Meehan said: “This proposed wind farm was outrageous in its size and impact across an enormous rural area. So many huge turbines would have dominated and blighted a vast area of Holderness.

“Our article revealed the proposals at the earliest stage and alerted local residents, the local authority and others to the potential for it to have a massive impact on the local environment.

“Understandably, the reaction was of shock and alarm which, no doubt, Scottish Power has taken account of in its decision.

“It is very good news indeed that it has decided not to proceed and we’re very pleased our coverage appears to have played a part in that decision.

“If we had not revealed the plans until later, by which time Scottish Power may have secured land for the turbines, the local community could have faced a very difficult battle to prevent the wind farm being developed.”

The news of the plans came to light when a letter was sent to landowners which read: “Babcock have been instructed to complete preliminary investigations into land ownership with a view to the possible development of a wind farm site.

“At this stage, we are simply assessing the suitability and feasibility.”

Among those who had received a letter from the energy company was Jonathan Sharp, a farmer who has lived at Middle Farm, Little Hatfield for 20 years.

Mr Sharp said: “I’m not keen on turbines myself and think we certainly have more than our fair share.

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

Following the news, the Mail visited residents near the proposed locations.

Although they all spoke of the need of greener energy, the majority were against the proposed locations for the wind turbines.

Among those were Alison and Paul Kennedy, from Long Riston, who would have been able to see some of the wind turbines from their back garden.

Mrs Kennedy said: “I’m not against wind farms, but they should be out at sea.

“I was shocked when I saw the news of the turbines in the paper.

“I’m pleased the landowners have considered the wider area.”

Great Hatfield resident Peter Goforth, 74, said: “It would have spoiled the landscape. They should have them offshore.”

A ScottishPower Renewables spokesman said: “At present, Scottish Power Renewables has no plans to develop a wind farm in the area around Hornsea.

“We approach landowners on a regular basis to discuss the potential for a wind farm development and if a landowner is not interested, as seems to be the case here, then that is the end of the matter.”