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Wind turbines at Yorkshire Dales village backed after over 1,000 object  

Credit:  Yorkshire Post | www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 28 August 2012 ~~

Over 1,000 people have expressed their opposition to plans for three wind turbines on land at Gargrave in North Yorkshire.

Councillors will decide next month whether to grant permission for the wind farm on land next to Brightenber Hill, which is near Stainton Hall.

In a report to Craven Council, a planning officer is recommending that the plans be approved.

The report reminds councillors that a similar application was refused by the council in 2009 but the grounds for rejecting it were subsequently rejected at a planning inquiry.

The planning inspector gave weight to the long-term environmental and economic benefits of the renewable energy scheme.

The council’s previous arguments about the potential damage to the nearby Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was rejected in 2010.

Now the planning officer is warning that the council may be considered to be acting “unreasonably” if it disagrees with the inspector’s conclusions.

He adds: “Consequently, repeating the previous grounds for refusal, ie on grounds relating to the visual impact on landscape and the cultural heritage assets; or by giving greater weight to representations concerning the effects on recreation and visitor attractions, nearby horse riding facilities, or the effects of access for abnormal loads, would be likely to be interpreted as unreasonable behaviour on the part of the council in an appeal.

“Therefore, it is strongly emphasised to councillors that such action would likely expose the council to an award of costs against it in an appeal.”

The current application is for three turbines with a maximum blade height of 100m. The previous plan was for five turbines.

Local parish councils have expressed opposition to the scheme.

And English Heritage have expressed fears about the impact on the settings of the Grade II* listed Ingthorpe Grange and the Grade II* listed Gledstone Hall, as well as the setting of the scheduled monument Steeling Hill Enclosure.

An objection has also been lodged by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority which said “the proposed development would have a serious harmful impact on the landscape setting of the National Park and the quality of experience currently available to recreational users of the National Park”.

In total, Craven Council has received 212 letters of objection, a petition of 891 names submitted by The Friends of Craven Landscape and another 240 signatures from the British Horse Society.

In support, there are 31 letters and a further 983 letters, written in a set manner and submitted, the council says, from an “unidentified source”.

Those supporting the development have cited climate change as the greatest threat to the planet and the need for urgent action to replace fossil fuels.

Also objecting are the Ramblers’ Association and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The CPRE said: “The development would seriously damage the way in which people experience the nearby historic buildings and monuments.”

The group also claimed that the turbines would cause “unacceptable damage to the quality of life of up to 11 and possibly more families located close to the site.”

A British Horse Society spokesman said: “The turbine site is within the next field to a well-used bridleway and the popular Craven Country Ride at Pot Haw Farm.”

Despite the objections, the planning officer says the plan should be approved, concluding: “In conclusion, the representations received in objection to the current application have not introduced any new issues that materially change the factual, legal or planning considerations that were dealt with by the Inspector at the 2010 public inquiry (other than in the reduction in the number of turbines.”

The planning committee meet son Monday, September 3 at Gargrave Village Hall, from 2pm.

Source:  Yorkshire Post | www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 28 August 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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