Campaigners fear one of the finest unspoilt views in England is being threatened by plans to site a wind turbine at Flamborough Head.
They say the proposed tower, measuring 112 ft to the tip of the turbine, would be 25ft higher than Flamborough lighthouse and would dominate views of the Flamborough Heritage Coast, from Bempton Cliffs in the north to Bridlington Bay in the south.
They believe if planning permission is granted for the turbine, at Hartendale Farm between Danes Dyke and South Landing, it would set a “dangerous precedent” that could lead to the “industrialisation” of the coast.
The structure, which would supply electricity to a nearby caravan site operated by the applicant, would be just 600 metres from the coast and close to two nature reserves and sites of special scientific interest.
David Hinde, who was part of a recent campaign that successfully fought off an application to build three turbines at Bempton, said the latest proposal should be a real concern to anyone who enjoyed that part of the coast.
He said: “It’s the nearest to the coast ever proposed. It may only be one turbine now, but it would set a dangerous precedent for the whole of the heritage coast.
“There’s growing anger in the community that somebody wants to put a turbine in such a location; it’s the highest possible designation of protected land in the country.”
He added: “This is an area visited by people who have holiday homes and a lot are from West Yorkshire; this is their playground.
“Because it’s so beautiful and unspoilt they need to know that this is being threatened. This turbine would be visible from Bridlington Bay and Bempton Cliffs, at 112ft high it’s 25ft higher than Flamborough lighthouse. It’s very close to triple-SI and special nature sites, it would have a major impact.”
Worried residents have been delivering leaflets to raise awareness and a group to provide organised opposition to the scheme is being formed.
Andrew Barden, who is setting up the group, said: “There’s a growing disquiet in the community. It’s the first time I’ve been involved and you are really fighting against a well-organised and subsidised campaign.
“One of the things we’ve learned is we’ve got to get the message across to people with holiday homes and caravans because there are more caravans than houses on Flamborough Head. They come to Flamborough because it’s beautiful and their voice is very important.
“If this goes ahead that to me would say turbines are more important than tourism. If ever an area was wrong (for turbines) it’s this one.”
A spokesman for Wetherby-based Earthmill, which would install and operate the turbine, said: “Unfortunately, small-scale projects like this one often get confused with the commercial scale projects which don’t always benefit the local community as they are owned and run by multi-national organisations.
“These small-scale turbines connect directly into the local network and are supplied, owned and operated by local business such as Earthmill.
“The renewable energy produced by the turbine will connect directly into the caravan park grid connection, significantly reducing their energy bills and encouraging eco-tourism; any excess energy will be exported back in to the grid and be used locally. Small-scale local energy generation is a key part of the Government’s strategy to tackle climate change, which affects us all.”
The number of large turbines in the East Riding is set to quadruple in the coming months, with 99 either granted permission or under construction.
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