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Wind farm will ‘take over the landscape’

News that work is to start on a wind farm which is set to change the face of the landscape around Balkholme has been met with dismay.

Sixpenny Wood, will be made up of ten turbines, standing 410ft tall and will generate enough electricity per turbine for the equivalent of nearly 12,000 homes a year.

REpower will be building the 20.5MW farm which has been developed by Your Energy, a subsidiary of AES Wind Generation, it was announced last week.

Work will start in the middle of 2012 and is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Despite a long-running campaign among local residents, councillors and other supporters, Sixpenny Wood was given permission on appeal two years ago after being refused by East Riding Council.

In his report, planning inspector Philip Major said he had “no doubt” that the turbines would have an “adverse” impact on the landscape “irrespective of whether they are seen as a positive feature in the struggle against climate change”.

More than 90 properties will have their views significantly changed but Mr Major said the farm’s prominence “does not necessarily equate to harm”. In reply to concerns about the impact on views of nearby Howden Minster, he said any effect “would be minor at worst and non existent at best”.

East Riding Councillor and Gilberdyke resident Paul Robinson (above) told the Courier: “It is a sad day for local democracy. The communities of Laxton, Kilpin and Eastrington, as well as Balkholme, will be affected by the turbines which will be a totally overwhelming feature of the landscape.

“Neighbouring parish councils as well as local residents were against the development, as well as MP David Davis and MEP Godfrey Bloom but there was a certain inevitability about it all.

“People do not realise just how huge these structures are and how much they’ll take over the landscape.”

In October, campaigners in Spaldington lost their fight against one of two applications to build a total of 12 turbines in their midst, following a four week public inquiry, held in Goole.

Inspector George Baird was in agreement with the STOP (Spaldington Turbine Opposition Protest Group) campaign in rejecting Volkswind’s plans to erect seven turbines at Spaldington Common but came down in favour of Falk Renewable’s plans to build five at the former Spaldington Airfield.