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Go ahead for wind turbine close to the Watton Abbey site

A Government planning inspector has backed proposals for a wind turbine at Watton.

An appeal was lodged by R Pexton and Son after the East Riding of Yorkshire Council refused planning permission for a 50kw wind turbine at Watton Abbey Farm.

Mr Anthony Tickett, an inspector appointed by the secretary of state for communities and local government, granted the appeal after considering the impact of the proposed wind turbine on the setting of nearby historic buildings. The proposed turbine would be 46m high and would be in a field 160m north of Watton Abbey Farm buildings.

To the south of the farm is Watton Priory, within which is the Grade 1 listed Watton Abbey, a substantial house of 14th and 15th century origin. Adjoining the site of the former priory is St Mary’s Church, which is also Grade 1 listed and dates back to the 15th century.

In a letter dates September 2012, English Heritage said: “Due to the open nature of the landscape here and the proximity and location of the turbine, there will be a significant impact on the setting of the northern part of the scheduled monument.”

However, EH felt “that the impact on the significance of the abbey and monument as a whole, while it is to some degree harmful, is not significantly harmful.”

Mr Thickett said in his report: “I consider that in this case the public benefits arising from renewable energy generated by the proposed turbine outweighs the less than substantial harm I identify to the setting of the nearby heritage assets.”

“The turbine is not in relative terms a large structure and I have seen nothing to suggest that its installation would be any more noisy than agricultural machinery used on the farm.”