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Changes to East Heslerton wind turbine plan

Controversial plans to build a ten-turbine wind farm in Ryedale have been amended by developers.

Plans to build the 126-metre high turbines at East Heslerton, which could produce enough electricity to power almost 10,000 homes, were submitted by RWE npower renewables last April, and led to hundreds of complaints from residents and the creation of opposition groups.

Now, a change to the plans has been submitted to the Ryedale District Council after concerns raised by residents.

Martin Wood, from RWE npower renewables, said: “Working together with the county council’s highways department has enabled us to identify an alternative route to the south of the site for HGV access to avoid vehicles using Whitegates Lane, via the A64, while the findings from further archaeological work provide more detail to enable a more informed planning decision.”

Mr Wood said consultation, subject to a planning condition, had seen the Ministry of Defence agree to retract two of its three objections to the development, and a fund of up to £40,000 per year could be contributed to local facilities from the developers, should the planning application be granted.

Paul Stephens is a local farmer opposed to the development, and said there was nothing in the new information to surprise him or change his mind.

Mr Stephens said: “When these things go to local level council for determination they look at policies and local objections and we’re confident it will get turned down. “Nothing here to change anyone’s mind. There’s still massive objection in the area. Now people have found out what it’s all about some of the supporters have actually become objectors.”

The planning application was originally due to be determined last summer, but no date is currently set for a decision.