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Wind farm proposals given the go ahead amid rejection calls

Controversial plans for a wind farm on land at Hook Moor, east Leeds, have been granted after a second appeal against their rejection.

Leeds councillors have previously rejected the plans for five turbines on land near Micklefield but the Planning Inspectorate has overturned that decision following a public inquiry.

Critics have greeted the news with dismay.

Last night Selby and Ainsty Conservative MP Nigel Adams said: “I’m extremely disappointed that an inspector found in favour of yet another wind farm application which will do little to provide renewable energy but will do much to provide subsidies for the developer at the taxpayers’ expense.

“This has set a disappointing precedent locally and myself and local campaigners will continue to fight inappropriate onshore chocolate fireguards such as wind farms.”

Local campaigner Howard Ferguson said: “It looks as if it will be only a matter of time before everybody travelling along the A1M and the M1 will be witness to five industrial wind turbines next to the route.

“For those travelling south from Scotch Corner it will be the first industrial structure in over 50 miles – extending industrialised West Yorkshire well into the Green Belt.

Those visiting Lotherton Hall will find it dominated by industrialisation.”

In a published decision, planning inspector Philip Major said: “The large scale, horizontal simplicity of the landscape in the vicinity of the proposed turbines would lend itself to the introduction of large scale features more easily than other locations of more complexity.

“Though turbines would be unmissable and prominent, they would be of a scale which would gel with the scale of the immediate surroundings. They would not seem wholly out of place close to the nearby motorways.”

Mr Major said he believed the impact on the landscape would only be “slight to moderately harmful, depending on the particular position of the viewer.”

A spokesman for developer Banks Renewables said: “We have always believed that the Hook Moor wind farm was a well thought-out and sensibly-sited project, and are extremely pleased that the many benefits of the scheme have been recognised through the inspector’s decision.”

He said the scheme will play a key role in enabling Leeds Council “to meet its immediate and future renewables obligations.”