35m wind turbine for Lepton as Kirklees councillors hear effigies of plan supporters were placed around village
Effigies of a wind turbine applicant and supporter were put up ahead of a vital planning meeting, it was claimed.
Harry Brown of Windy Gap Farm, Green Balk Lane, Little Lepton, made the revelation as he urged Huddersfield councillors to permit his plans for a 24.8m mast, or 35m to blade tip, for his property.
It’s an application that saw more than 300 people oppose, with 11 in support .
Harry Brown, a Lepton resident of more than 20 years, said he had spent thousands considering the best site and only a small minority of people nearby would see it from their own homes.
He said there were “effigies” located in the village which were “personal and upsetting” and warned they should be removed.
Gail Harris, a supporter, also said an effigy depicting her was hung up outside the church.
James Martin, an objector, branded it “greed energy, not green energy” .
Mr Martin said it was misleading as it was not for a working farm but a barn. He also criticised a lack of planning notices in the area and said he was told it was because a council officer was on holiday.
Other objectors said it was too close to nearby properties . Carol Martin said the turbine “will destroy the heart of the landscape and it will destroy the visual amenity and recreation value”.
She too criticised Kirklees Council’s planning report, which recommended approval, as being “far from balanced” as it was published before the closure of the public consultation.
Clr Christine Smith , Kirkburton Conservative, said “this one is one too far” and urged her colleagues on the planning committee to reject it.
Objectors of Village Against Turbines (VAT) say it’s an inappropriate development in the green belt and it may set a precedent. Kirkburton Parish Council has also objected to the application.
Kirklees council officers recommended the 50kw turbine for approval.
David Storrie, planning agent for Mr Brown, said: “As a practice we have dealt with 16 turbines in Kirklees and seven of them were 25m and in the greenbelt.
“The nearest property is 240m away from the turbine and the location is the best sited that I have ever dealt with.”
Mr Storrie said potential income from the turbine played no part in planning policy.
In the councillors’ debate, Clr Molly Walton, Labour Crosland Moor and Netherton, said: “I am generally in favour of them, I think they look quite elegant… Visual amenity is up to the individual.
“Listening to the two people (applicant and supporter) I feel quite ashamed that people could do that just because they want to do something like this. Quite frankly it has helped me make my mind up and I support this application.”
Clr Donald Firth , Holme Valley South Conservative, said: “Once again we’re asked to consider another blot on the landscape.”
His ward and party colleague, Clr Ken Sims, said “We’ve got enough now and it’s not the answer to future generation”
Clr Andrew Cooper, Newsome Green, outlined why a range of renewable energy sources were needed: “I agree they are not the answer but they are part of the answer”.
The vote to approve was backed 10 votes to six.
The turbine would provide energy to the existing house with the rest of the energy fed back into the National Grid.
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