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Upper Poppleton wind turbine bid stirs up a storm of protest

Villagers in York have claimed their community will be damaged by plans for a wind turbine on farmland near their homes.

Proposals for the 36-metre mast have been submitted to City of York Council for a site in Upper Poppleton, despite the fact the land lies in the Green Belt.

Agents acting for the applicant have said the turbine, at Grange Farm on Hodgson Lane, would not cause “visual intrusion” for the village, but local residents are opposing the scheme, saying it would cause too much noise, is in the wrong place and could harm businesses in the village. Council planners are expected to make a decision next month.

In a statement sent to the authority, renewable energy company Earthmill Solutions Ltd said the turbine – whose height including blades would be 46 metres – would satisfy the energy demands of the farm by providing a source of renewable energy which would also allow the farm business to operate in a more environmentally and financially sustainable manner.

The company said that due to the narrowness of the turbine and the relatively modest height in comparison with large-scale commercial wind turbines, it would only be visable from local roads.

Earthmill Solutions Ltd also said the nearest neighbouring properties were a farm 300 metres away and the Red Lion pub and homes on Willow Croft and West Field Lane. The company said it was unlikely to be over-dominant or prominent or to harm the living conditions of residents.

It also said that such developments in the Green Belt could be allowed if they are in line with national renewable energy and climate change policies.

However, one of the objectors, Upper Poppleton resident Julie Ashley, said in a letter to the council: “Should the turbine gain planning permission, the tranquillity of the area in which I live will be shattered by its hum.

“The turbine is too large and close to people’s homes and will be an alien structure. The height of the turbine is wholly inappropriate for such a uniquely beautiful and prominent setting and it would be visible for a significant distance.”

David Heaton, another opponent of the plans, said he believed the scheme was “unethical”, while objector Paul Milligan said: “There are many better places such turbines could be positioned, and certainly not on the outskirts of a beautiful village.”