The controversial plan to build 10 giant wind turbines on a prominent site on the Yorkshire Wolds was vetoed by Ryedale councillors last night.
RWE Npower Renewable Ltd wanted to erect the 126 metre high structures at LKing Hall Farm, West heslerton, but more than 80 people attending the District Council’s planning committee, held at Norton College, heard repeatedly from councillors and objectors who addressed the committee, that they would damage the landscape.
The committee rejected the plans by 9 votes to 2.
Paul Stephens, a neighbouring farmer, said he was concerned abiout the impact on his private airstrip which he had used for 44 years. Diverting away from the turbines would mean him having to fly over the nearby villages of Helperthorpe and Weaverthorpe, causing noise impact.
“This is an area of high landscape value”, he told the committee, adding that the structures would “tower 1000ft above the Vale of Pickering.”
They would damage the local tourism industry, and spoil the area for walkers, horse riders and cyclists, he said.
But Martin Wood, project developer for RWE Npower said the turbines would generate sufficient electricity for between 9,700 and 14,500 homes in Ryedale each year. The investment involved was between £6m and £10m he added with a further £1.6 m in contracts a year during the life of the wind farm.
In addition, said Mr Wood, a budget was being established by he company which would benefit local projects. Following exhibitions and consultations carried out by the company in the area, 65 per cent of the public had supported the project.
Coun Brian Maud believed the place for turbines was in groups, but added: “Not on the High Wolds – they are special.”
Coun Lindsay Burr said she supported off-shore wind farms, adding that the Heslerton scheme’s visual impact would be “utterly wrong”.
Other councillors said the impact would see turbines of more than 400 ft.
Gary Houseden, the head of planning services, said the Ministry of Defence had withdrawn its objections to the scheme subject to conditions being imposed.
The council had engaged a specialist consultant to study the potential noise impact. “We have gone through the the noise issue with a fine toothcomb” said Mr Houseden, who had recommended approval of the scheme.
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