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Hockney: ‘Say no to wind farms’

World famous artist David Hockney has slammed plans to build “ugly” wind farms around Bridlington, which he thinks will spoil the area’s countryside.

Speaking exclusively to the Free Press, Mr Hockney – who lives and works in Bridlington – urged people to “say no” to the turbine plans.

Mr Hockney, 74, said: “They are big and ugly things and they are completely out of scale. They are too big.

“But nobody talks about beauty and ugliness any more, that is a problem.”

Currently, plans have been submitted for nine turbines on Thornholme Field, close to Woldgate, where many of Hockney’s recent paintings have been based – plus many more.

He recently held an exhibition featuring works capturing the beauty of the countryside around Bridlington – themes which also feature heavily in his ‘A Bigger Picture’ exhibition to be held at The Royal Academy of Arts in London next year.

However, the renowned artist has said that he would not paint the turbines were they to be built.

“I certainly wouldn’t paint them. There are too many straight lines, they are unnatural,” he said.

“From what I read about them (turbines), it tells us that they don’t work very well.”

The coastline and surrounding countryside around Bridlington “is more charming than people realise” said Mr Hockney, “sometimes, I don’t think people notice where they are so much any more”.

“If you are going to go ahead and try and put them up, you must listen to what local people have to say about them,” he said.

“People should stand up for themselves and say no to these things if they don’t agree with them – it seems that people in England have less power than any time in their history.

“They should let the politicians know what they think and defend their area.

“Your taxes will subsidise these turbines being bought from abroad, but the people supplying them don’t have to live here. At least the mill owners lived in them.

“I’m not against the new, but not everything new is good.

“We don’t have a shortage of energy, we just need to harness it. We have a shortage of poetry, maybe people should talk about that.”

Mr Hockney sees similarities between the fight against turbines and the 2007 public smoking ban, one of his favourite subjects to debate.

“I’m afraid I don’t trust politicians anymore.

“They took away smoking in public places, even though there are 10m people in the country who smoke, and no one stood up and stopped them. What do you say in these situations? What can you do?”

Other current wind farm plans include a test mast is place at Fraisthorpe as a precursor to a planning application for eleven turbines which will be sited around 2.2km south of Bridlington, between the town and the twelve Lissett turbines which sit around 11km away.

This is alongside other plans for turbines at Carnaby, and near Burton Agnes, amongst others.