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Fears for safety of horseriders as £61m East Riding wind turbine is approved

A huge wind turbine is to be built beside a popular walking route near Cottingham after getting approval from national planning inspectors.

The 61m turbine is to be built in Raywell, west of the village.

Applicant Windberry Energy referred the decision to the Bristol-based Planning Inspectorate before East Riding Council made a decision on it.

But councillors said they would have opposed the plans because of fears for the safety of riders on a nearby bridleway.

In a letter of objection, the council’s countryside access manager Patrick Wharam said: “This part of the Yorkshire Wolds is particularly valued by recreational walkers, cyclists and horseriders as the landscape has a special value.

“The area is a tourism asset and is promoted by Visit Hull and East Yorkshire as a tourism destination.

“The proximity to the existing bridleway is of extreme concern.”

However, a Planning Inspectorate report released this week dismissed the safety fears.

It said a smaller turbine nearby was not considered dangerous.

The report, by inspector Zoë Hill, said: “The existing, albeit smaller, turbine is currently seen as a feature of this route, such that a second feature with blade movement would not, despite being much taller, be significantly different.

“The proposed turbine would be seen on approach and would not involve sudden movement of the type likely to cause startling.

“Based on the evidence before me, the degree of danger would not seem to be materially greater than at present and I do not find this a reason to dismiss the appeal.”

The turbine is to be built at York Grounds Farm, about two miles from the village.

More than 70 letters were sent to the council by families living nearby.

Cottingham villager Samantha Spenceley said: “I keep my horse in Raywell and am a regular rider and dog walker on the bridle path.

“I am unable to ride past the current turbine as it frightens my horse and this turbine is going to be bigger and on the circular route, which I ride on every day.

“I will be unable to pass by safely as the turbine is a hazard to horses and usually causes the horses to spook.”

The application was first submitted on March 1 last year.

Building work must start on the site within three years, Ms Hill said in her report.