A controversial 410ft high windfarm that developers want to build near Guisborough has moved a step closer – to the anger of campaigners.
Developer Banks Renewables says it is delighted with the latest positive Bank Field windfarm test mast application outcome and isnow forging full steam ahead with this.
Redcar and Cleveland Council’s planning committee has granted planning permission for two 60 metre (about 200ft) test masts on the site on low hills near Guisborough.
The permission gives developers three years after erecting the masts to test wind speeds in the locality to gauge viability of the site for a full-scale windfarm.
But campaigners vow they’ll fight the scheme to the bitter end as the site is close to thousands of houses.
FIGHT (Fight In Guisborough to Halt Turbines) spokesman George Tinsley said: “Locals will fight this all the way to a planning inquiry if necessary.
“As well as detrimental effects on nearby homes at Mount Pleasant, this scheme will be highly visible to thousands of homes in Guisborough.
“Ultimately, it will affect wildlife and spoil an area of countryside and be visible from the North York Moors National Park and have an adverse effect on tourism.”
As reported, in October more than 5,000 people signed up to protest against the windfarm.
Developers plan to build a six-turbine scheme close to the historic market town. Protesters say it will be in full view of many homes, including those on the big Hunters Hill estate.
The £15.6m scheme proposes a cluster of 410ft high wind turbines at Park Woods, on the Gisborough Estate.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We’re pleased the council’s planning committee has followed the advice of the council’s officers in approving our test mast planning application.
“Renewing our ageing energy generation and distribution infrastructure is becoming an increasingly urgent priority for the UK.
“We need to generate domestically a far higher percentage of the energy we all use from renewable sources and become far less reliant on imported, fossil fuel-based energy supplies and onshore windfarms like Bank Field are already helping to address these challenges.
“In addition to generating enough renewable energy to meet the annual electricity consumption requirements of around 9,700 homes, which would make a major contribution towards the local authority’s renewables targets, this windfarm would also bring a range of other benefits to the local area – from 40 new jobs and commercial opportunities for local businesses worth around £3m to substantial funding for community improvements.
“We’re confident we’ll be able to design a scheme that’s environmentally appropriate for this site, and will continue to work closely with all interested parties around the development of detailed proposals.”
But FIGHT co-chairman Mr Tinsley said: “More than 90% of people say the windfarm idea’s wrong.”
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