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Winds of change

A Tory MP is demanding answers from his party chiefs over false hopes being given to wind farm objectors.

New wind farm guidance giving more weight to public opinion and environmental concerns was announced last month by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

But East Riding Council says it has received no formal instruction, so applications are still being decided under the old rules.

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, who welcomed the changes last month, said: “I am seeking clarification from the minister on this.

“If the guidance is to be changed, it should be changed for anything that hasn’t been finalised.”

News that the Government’s change of policy would not impact on current applications was revealed by East Riding Council head of planning Pete Ashcroft.

He said that ruling also applied to the inquiry starting next week into an application for a six-turbine wind farm in Thornholme, Burton Agnes. The applicant appealed after East Riding Council rejected the application.

Objectors thought Thorn- holme would be a test case under the new guidelines and their views would be heard.

Mr Knight will face anger from his constituents if the Government changes he welcomed so publicly have no impact.

He said: “My view under the old rules was that this application should be turned down anyway.

“Here we have a beautiful part of the country and we’re at real risk of desecrating it with ugly wind farms. I think the environmental concerns should way very heavily.”

Mr Knight said the same thing before a planning inquiry in January approved the erection of nine turbines in Fraisthorpe, overlooking Bridlington Bay.

Mr Knight said: “I think the Fraisthorpe one was a bad decision but each application is looked at separately.

“Just because that one was approved, it doesn’t mean this one will be.

“I am expecting clarification from the minister.”