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Anger as wind farm scheme is approved at Cleek Hall, Cliffe, near Selby

Plans to create a controversial windfarm in the Selby district have been given the go-ahead despite local opposition.

The scheme, to build five 127-metre wind turbines at Cleek Hall, Cliffe, was objected to by local councils and residents, although conservation groups English Heritage, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and North Yorkshire County Council did not object.

Last year, Selby District Council planning officers refused the £12 million development as it was felt the turbines would have a negative visual impact on the countryside.

Developers Hallam Land Management lodged an appeal against the decision in March, which was granted this week.

In a report explaining the decision, inspector David Pinner said he accepted the windfarm would be highly visible, but called the area “an ordinary landscape that has capacity to absorb a windfarm of the scale proposed”.

He said: “In any case, such harm as might be perceived would be reversible as it is intended that the windfarm would be decommissioned and removed after 25 years.

“The qualities of remoteness and tranquillity that local people enjoy about this part of Selby District would not be significantly affected by the scheme and the living conditions of those living closest to the proposed windfarm would not be so adversely affected that any of those houses would become an inherently unattractive place to live.”

Nigel Adams , MP for Selby and Ainsty, campaigned against large wind farms in the Selby district, and said: “I am extremely disappointed and saddened that the Inspector has failed to take into account the views of local residents and that he has ridden roughshod over the decision by Selby District Council to refuse the application. It is a very bad day for local residents and for the consumers who pick up the bill for these monstrosities.”

Gerard Carroll, chairman of Cliffe Parish Council, said: “We were hopeful that it wouldn’t go through. Unfortunately. Personally, I’m devastated. We didn’t approve of it at all.”

Hallam Land Management were were unavailable for comment.