Campaigners against nine massive wind turbines just outside an East Coast resort are stepping up their fight by delivering leaflets to 1000 homes.
Residents are battling proposals for the turbines near Fraisthorpe beach, near Bridlington, which will stand 62ft higher than the top of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Air navigation service provider National Air Traffic Services Ltd has now lodged an objection to the wind farm, which is being developed by TCI Renewables.
It says the turbines could generate “false plots” on the primary radar service based 40 miles away near Claxby, high on the Lincolnshire Wolds, as well as reducing the chances of picking up genuine targets.
John Elsom is part of a group campaigning against the scheme, which they say will ruin views of Bridlington Bay and undermine the tourist trade.
The wind farm at Lissett, which opened in 2009, already forms a backdrop at Bridlington’s South Beach and Mr Elsom says the two together would form a “new industrialised vista.”
Just across the main A165, there are proposals for another wind farm of five turbines, 125m high, which he warns, could give Bridlington a reputation as a “wind farm town.”
He suggests what happened in California, where some decommissioned wind farms have been left to rust away, could happen on the East Coast: “If it all becomes unmanageable for this government or a future government the turbines would presumably be stopped and are likely to be left standing and become unkempt and rusty.
“This apparently has happened in California where what are known as wind farm graveyards are left standing uglifying local communities.
“What if this happened in Bridlington? A town surrounded by graveyards of wind turbines would become miserable with decay. Do we really want to take the risk?”
Mr Elsom said 1,000 leaflets were being delivered to homes: “The difficulty in Bridlington is that people here knew very little about this until recently and think, not unnaturally, Fraisthorpe is seven miles away, but by the coast it is only a mile and a half.
“It seems to me there is a lot of apathy and boredom on this subject; some people who say ‘aren’t they beautiful’ and a lot who say they are ugly and horrible and they are spoiling not only the beaches round Bridlington Bay, but the countryside; the MPs who have come out against them claim it’s 50/50, if it is then 50 per cent of the people who come to Bridlington will think it is ugly and a proportion won’t come and spend their money in the town.”
East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, one of 105 Conservative backbenchers who are putting pressure on the Government for a rethink on subsidies for onshore farms, said he would be lodging an objection to the Fraisthorpe plans. Mr Knight said he believed nuclear power was a “clean, efficient and safe” technology in a country like Britain which didn’t have earthquakes, along with tidal and wave power. He said: “We have now reached saturation point where any further wind farm developments are blighting our beautiful landscape.”
He said the Government had indicated “that Britain is already hitting its 2002 targets which indicates to me that the planners should not now be looking at renewable targets as a reason to say yes.”
Supporters say as well as decreasing reliance on volatile overseas fuel supplies, wind farms also create green jobs. RenewableUK, which represents the wind industry, has said opposition generally isn’t as widespread as suggested and “even at a local level it seems to be about a vociferous minority.”
Bruce Hutt, from TCI Renewables, said the scheme would supply “almost all” the homes in Bridlington and would bring economic benefits to the area, with £220,000 going into a community fund every year for 25 years. They were also discussing setting up an apprenticeship scheme for young people in wind farm maintenance and construction.