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Residents ‘appalled’ by mill turbine plan

A farmer operating a pig feed business without planning consent is asking for permission to power it with a 100m wind turbine.

Mike Kirkwood owns Manor Farm Feeds in Dunnington, an industrial-scale milling company – but failed to obtain planning permission to grow his business.

Villagers say there are more than 10,000 heavy lorry trips to the mill every year, and taxpayers spent £175,000 repairing damage to roads in the village last year.

Now Mr Kirkwood is seeking approval from East Riding Council for a turbine so he can save money on electricity bills.

Neighbour Dorothy Hesp said: “I’m appalled at the height and size of the proposed turbine.”

Dunnington is a conservation village and Mrs Hesp believes a turbine will be a blot on the landscape.

In her objection to planners, she pointed out the turbine would be about 12 times higher than the village church.

She said it was “lunacy” to imagine trees might hide the turbine from view.

“It’s awful to think of a turbine being so close to neighbouring properties, and to our little church,” she said.

Mr Kirkwood has estimated the turbine would produce 2,397,000kWh of electricity a year.

In his planning application, he said his business, Manor Farm Feeds, uses up 2,057,480kWh every year, as well as 169,132 litres of gas oil.

That business grew to an industrial scale without planning permission.

Mr Kirkwood applied for a certificate of lawfulness in November last year, which would have retrospectively granted him industrial-scale planning permission.

But his bid was refused, as he was unable to prove the mill had been operating on its current scale for more than ten years.

Mrs Hesp said: “His business does not have planning permission, and should he be required to move in the future that electricity use will go and all he will be left with is a family house.

“It’s rubbing everybody’s nose in it, to put this up with no regard for people. He’s going to spoil the landscape just for his business.”

Mr Kirkwood’s application said he consulted many of his neighbours.

It said: “The applicant made personal visits to 63 local residents, explaining the proposal and listening to their views. From those visits, 30 local residents signed letters stating their support of the proposals, with a further 21 signing letters of no objection.

“The remaining 12 households did not wish to formally sign letters of support but did not object to the proposals in principle.”

But Mrs Hesp said she had not been contacted about his plans.

“The nearest neighbours were never consulted, and I was never consulted,” she said.

“There were at least 40 per cent of the village who would not have been aware this was happening except for hearsay.”

The application was received in April and a decision is pending.