Desperate pleas from residents to save a scenic beauty spot from an “eyesore” meteorological mast have fallen on deaf ears.
Campaigners and local councillors implored Redcar and Cleveland Council’s planning committee to reject the scheme for the 50m (164ft) mast at Ridge Farm on Stanghow Ridge.
Stanghow – Britain in Bloom’s finest beauty spot – has unparalleled views of the coast and North York Moors, they argued.
They feared the temporary mast, which will gather data of wind speed and direction, may be followed by a large wind turbine scheme on the spectacular spot.
Councillors agreed the scheme – by North Yorkshire-based Empirica – by sic votes to three.
Two members spoke out strongly against the plan. Labour Councillor Brenda Forster said: “We should protect the historic landscape of the area. All our beautiful areas are going to be spoilt. We can stop this.”
And independent Cllr Mary Lanigan added: “I think this area is unsuitable for a mast in this location.”
But Labour member Brian Briggs said: “This is a heart and head situation. If we go against this officer’s recommendation – and have to go to appeal – we could lose.”
The temporary permission covers 12 months and the mast will be sited in a field.
There were seven objectors, plus Lockwood Parish Council, the committee heard.
Local resident Diane Kay said: “I believe this mast is a precursor to turbines 67 metres high.
“This area is on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. It will be an eyesore to the landscape and very visible to drivers on the A174.
“Stanghow is a strong community and has been so successful in Britain in Bloom and Northumbria in Bloom. The views there are spectacular and these achievements could be seriously undermined by a 50m mast.”
Fellow resident Arthur Murray agreed, saying: “Many residents would object. It will ruin an unspoilt location.”
East Cleveland Independent Cllr Steve Kay said: “For years, I’ve fought against all types of masts on Stanghow Ridge.
“All masts are unsightly at this, the gateway to the North York Moors.
“Why should masts and turbines be allowed to ruin our heritage and blight a whole community?”
Sophie Taylor, agent for the firm, said: “The nearest properties are 800m from the site and the visual impact is not considered detrimental.”
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