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Storm looms over bid to resurrect wind turbines plan

Fresh plans for two wind turbines near Bolton Abbey are to be submitted this week in a move which is likely to reignite a battle with campaigners.

Kelda Water Services is submitting a fresh planning application this week for two 75-metre turbines on land at its Chelker reservoir site after ditching previous plans to put up three in the face of significant opposition.

The company, sister to Yorkshire Water, says it has listened to local concerns, moved the proposed location of the turbines and reduced their height by five metres to address complaints.

But protesters have previously vowed to fight on against any new application on the site where Kelda wants to replace four existing 45-metre turbines which were installed in 1991.

Martyn Basierak of Kelda Water Services, said: “Following a series of exhibitions and consultations, we’ve listened to local residents and other stakeholders, taken account of their feedback and developed a revised plan which we believe goes a long way to addressing concerns.

“Our proposed submission will turn the currently defunct wind turbines into much more productive and efficient ones which will deliver a plentiful and green supply of energy, as well as reducing carbon emissions.”

The battle over the site has now been raging for several years. An initial planning application for two 127-metre turbines was rejected by Craven District Council, and revised plans for three 80-metre ones was withdrawn in the face of protests.

The existing four turbines are no longer working and Kelda claims the “greenest and most sustainable solution” is to replace them with two new ones which could save 2,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

They would generate energy to power Yorkshire Water’s pumping stations at Chelker and Lobwood which supply water to homes in Skipton and Wharfedale.

After complaints about the previous planning application, one of the turbines has been moved 65 metres to the south east which moves it further away from the road and local properties.

Kelda officials insist they have gone to great lengths to address concerns.

However, the fresh plans are unlikely to satisfy everyone’s concerns given their proximity to Bolton Abbey. English Heritage and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have both opposed previous applications, while a protest group – Parishioners Against Chelker Turbines – has also mobilised objectors.

The Yorkshire Post revealed earlier this year how communities across the region are being pitted against developers as battles rage over plans for hundreds of wind turbines.