A wind farm that has been in the Yorkshire Dales for two decades is being torn down, and is believed to be the first to be scrapped in the UK.
The four wind turbines, measuring 45 metres high, were put up in the 1990s but haven’t worked for years.
Campaigners said the turbines “turned the area into an industrial graveyard” as they celebrated news of the removal of the rusty machines, which will be used as scrap metal.
Locals said they had blighted the landscape and hadn’t worked for three quarters of the time they had been at the site in the Yorkshire Dales.
Peter Rigby, who helped set up the Parishoners Against the Chelker Turbines, said: “It’s been a hell of a fight but we have proved it is possible to stop wind farms.
“In recent years the turbines have hardly ever worked – they have turned the area into an industrial graveyard and look like rotting tooth stumps.”
The local council also refused plans to build two even larger machines on the same site beside the 57-acre Chelker Reservoir at Addingham, near Ilkley in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Campaigners said they would have adversely affected several villages and nearby Bolton Abbey, an ancient monument.
Ian Swain, development control officer at Craven District Council, said one of the conditions of the turbines being granted planning permission in the 1990s was that they would be removed if they stopped working.
He said: “The council was looking to enforce that requirement of the conditions because the turbines had been unused for a period of time. We understand that the level of maintenance required had become so great that they had become unviable.”
Yorkshire Water appointed a contractor to remove the turbines and said it would not be appealing the council’s decision to refuse permission for the two taller turbines.
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