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Campaigners’ delight as plans to build turbines on cliffs axed

Campaigners have welcomed a decision to withdraw applications to install wind turbines on a protected headland.

Applications for three turbines – including one standing 150ft tall and earmarked for a site less than half a mile from the RSPB Visitor Centre at Bempton Cliffs – were withdrawn ahead of a planning meeting at East Riding Council yesterday.

The turbine, which was to have supplied electricity to a pig unit at Norway Farm, sparked objections from Scarborough and Filey councils as well as Natural England and the Campaign to Protect Rural England. A separate application for two 80ft turbines at Manor Farm was also withdrawn.

At the meeting councillors also rejected plans for a 112ft turbine at Tuft Hill Farm, Woldgate, Kilham – a road which has been a subject of many of David Hockney’s paintings – and two turbines, also 112ft, on Burton Road, Kilham.

Villager David Hinde, a spokesman for Bempton Residents Against Turbines, said: “It is a real victory as far as these turbines are concerned – but we still face a battle to save the village and keep the landscape as we would want it.”

The number of large turbines in the East Riding is set to quadruple in coming months – with 99 either granted permission or under construction. They include three turbines at Burton Pidsea, in Holderness, which will be the biggest yet seen in the region, at 135m tall.

East Riding Council has refused plans for 36 others, and there are applications for 55 in the pipeline. The number doesn’t take into account the many smaller turbines farmers are installing throughout the county.

Campaigners have complained of a “dash for cash” by farmers, on the back of generous Government subsidies, but East Riding councillor Symon Fraser leapt to their defence, saying: “Dash for cash it may be, but if there’s an opportunity there for farmers or any business to control their energy costs and look to reduced energy costs for the future then surely they have to do that from the point of view of sustaining their business. But that doesn’t have any importance or make any difference to the planning process which they still have to go through.”

He added: “There is a very noisy sector of people who have concerns about the impact of these structures in the countryside.

“The countryside has always been a working and changing countryside and, to some extent, the countryside in the wider environment has provided our energy in the past – go to South Yorkshire, it has been coal-mined.”