December 9, 2011

Villagers victorious in wind turbine battle

Pocklington Post, 9 December 2011

Resolute residents in Burnby have come out on top in their battle to stop a large wind turbine being built in the village.

A planning application to erect a 330kw turbine on land west of Queen Anne Plantation, on Londesborough Road, recently went before East Riding Council’s planning committee, who refused it on the grounds that it would have a detrimental effect on the surrounding landscape.

On 1 September, the committee chose to defer the application to enable the applicant to carry out consultation with villagers on the proposal.

Residents had formed an action group to fight the plans as they believed the 53.5 metre high turbine would have been a health risk and a threat to wildlife.

Elizabeth Briggs, who was a member of the committee for the action group, said: “We are very pleased. The council were very sensible. It wasn’t going to be a good thing at all for the village and the Wolds. It’s very heartening.

“It would have been disastrous for this area. I’m very pleased they listened to us.”

Asked whether she thought the group’s campaign had an impact on ERYC’s decision, Miss Briggs said: “I think so yes. We really did get together and fight it.

“There were a lot of people who are very hard working.”

Another commitee member said: “We want to be gracious in our victory becuase it is not something we feel clever about. 90 per cent of the village didn’t want it.

“We feel the planning committee came to a very sensible decision.

“There was consultation [between the applicant and residents] but the applicant would not shift from their point of view of having it where it was.”

The planning officer, Alan Menzies, recommended to the planning committee that the application be approved.

He believed the turbine would “make a contribution towards meeting the national need for renewable energy as established in Government policy.”

He added: “The wind turbine would form a constant presence within the local landscape but it is considered that the proposals would not significantly diminish the intrinsic character of the local landscape beyond the immediate vicinity of the application site: that the development would not result in any significant cumulative or sequential effects; and the development would not have any significant harmful effects in the residential amenities of the closest properties to the area.”

ERYC received 78 letters of objection from residents who raised numerous points of concern about the proposal, including “it will be a very prominent structure visually intruding in the middle of an open rural landscape.”

It was claimed the turbine would have a “significant impact on residential amenity- daytime nuisance and night time sleep disturbance.”

It was also said the structure would have been “very close to a quiet residential village.”

In contrast, the local authority received just nine letters of support.

Hayton and Burnby Parish Council strongly objected the plans “based on the high proportion of the residents against the application.”

The parish council was also concerned that “no mention was made of the red kites which nest and hunt within the vicinity of this site” in the application.

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