Residents in Kearby, Kirkby Overblow, Sicklinghall and the surrounding areas are stepping up their fight against plans to construct two giant wind turbines which they claim will blight one of the best views in Yorkshire.
More than 300 objections have been lodged with Harrogate Borough Council in relation to the two potential turbines in the Lower Wharfe Valley Green Belt – an area designated as having Special Landscape Character.
It is claimed the area under threat was one of the favourite views of legendary cricket commentator Brian Johnston. Before each test match at Headingley, he would here to admire the beautiful views.
If planning permission is granted, the tallest of the two, measuring 46m or 153ft – higher than a 15-storey block of flats – will be erected at Sicklinghall. The second, slightly shorter at 34m or 113ft, would stand close to the highest point of the ridge at Kearby Lane, just 150m from the closest house at Kearby.
The campaigners – who have already won the support of Selby MP Nigel Adams and the influential Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) – are holding a public meeting this Thursday (November 15) where they will update supporters about recent activities.
Even though Mr Adams cannot attend, he is sending a representative in his place. The MP, whose constituency covers this area, has written to support the local parish councils in their objections to the turbines.
He is also encouraging residents to “consider these applications carefully and if people wish to object, they should do so as soon as possible”.
Spokesman for the group, Guy Townsend, said:
Residents are fighting to help protect the Lower Wharfe Valley, arguably the most beautiful of the Lower Dales.
This area forms a remarkably well-preserved green wedge between Leeds and Harrogate, and is properly designated as Green Belt.
The huge number of objections already logged on Harrogate Borough Council’s website demonstrate the level of local pride in the fabulous countryside around where we live, and the strong desire to look after it. It’s not a case of ‘not in our backyard’ but fighting to protect our back yard!
If these two applications are given the go ahead then we fear it will open the floodgates to many more. Far from protecting the environment they will do irrevocable harm to it.
Mr Townsend added that in addition to the visual impact, there is the possible threat they would pose to wildlife, in particular the thriving red kite colony, bats and migrating geese.
If anyone wishes to make any representations about the plans, they should Harrogate Borough Council directly quoting the reference numbers:
12/03369/FUL (Paddock House Farm, Sicklinghall)
12/03395/FUL (Lund Head Farm, Kearby)
The email address for public comments is firstname.lastname@example.org