An application for a mast to determine whether an area outside of Driffield would be suitable for wind turbines has been met with a number of objections.
Gaoh Energy has applied to East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) for full planning permission to put up a 60m meteorological wind monitoring mast at land east of Blakedale Farm, Scarborough Road, Nafferton.
The mast would test wind speeds and directions at heights of 30m, 40m, 50m and 60m. The monitoring mast is to measure the area in order to ascertain whether it is suitable for future wind energy proposals. The application seeks to have the mast in place for a maximum of 24 months.
The application, which goes before members of the council’s planning committee today, has been recommended for approval by planning officers.
However, Driffield Town Council has ‘very strongly’ opposed the application, saying the mast would be out of keeping in such a beautiful area and would be a blot on the Wolds landscape.
A letter sent to ERYC from a resident neighbouring the proposal also branded the mast an ‘eyesore’, especially from the B1249 and the Driffield by-pass.
David Hinde of the No To Wolds Wind Farm Group is also objecting to the application.
Part of the group’s mission statement is to protect the Yorkshire Wolds and Heritage coast from unsuitable wind farm developments.
Mr Hinde said this proposal would set a dangerous precedent for other large scale structures in the area, including wind turbines.
He said: “This proposal for a 60 metre (200ft) wind monitoring mast is part of the major threat to the Yorkshire Wolds and specifically the protected high quality landscape area, an ancient landscape containing major heritage features and important biodiversity and wildlife sites.”
Mr Hinde believes this application, which follows a Gaoh Energy Scoping Opinion Report in June for four 125m turbines, lays the path for a wind farm to be built in the area.
He raises concerns over the effect the mast will have on the area’s tourism and the effect of an infra-red light on the mast to satisfy Ministry of Defence air safety requirements.
Mr Hinde has branded the mast “an alien visual intrusion into the precious Wolds heritage landscape.”
Despite the objections, planning officer Simon Johnson found that the development’s impact on the landscape would be acceptable because of the slim nature of the mast and its temporary presence. He added that the nearest residential areas were a significant distance away.
Mr Johnson recommended the application for approval subject to four conditions.
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