Fears have been raised that some of the North York Moors’s most scenic spots – including the view from Captain Cook’s Monument – could be blighted if plans for a wind farm near the park’s boundary are given the go-ahead.
Officers warn that if a plan to put up five wind turbines at Banks Field, Guisborough, is given the go-ahead some it will be clearly visible from viewpoints including Roseberry Topping, Park Nab and Captain Cook’s Monument.
Members of the North York Moors National Park Authority have been asked for their views by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council who will decide the application. The council wants to hear the park authority’s views as the development would be close to the park’s boundary.
A report to the park authority’s planning committee, which meets on Thursday, says: “Generally consultations with regard to development close to the National Park boundary are dealt with under delegated powers and subsequently reported to members for information purposes only.
“In this case officers considered that the scale of the development was of sufficient note to warrant bringing a paper before members.”
Officers are recommending that members of the park authority “strongly object” to the proposal “due to the unacceptable obtrusive impact upon the landscape character and special qualities of the National Park”.
They urge members to recommend Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council refuse the application when they meet to discuss it at a later date.
The applicant, who is not identified in the report, says that the turbines will generate enough electricity to supply around 9,800 homes and that the development would contribute to national targets for renewable energy generation and greenhouse gas reduction.
The applicant say views of Roseberry Topping will only be affected in clear weather because of the distances involved.
The site proposed for the wind farm to be built is immediately to the north of Guisborough outside the National Park on an area of land which is between 110m and 180m above sea level. It is approximately 2km from the National park boundary at its closest point.
The application is to build five wind turbines, a new access track from the B1269, and a site control building including electricity sub-station.
The proposed wind turbines will have a hub height of 80m and would be finished in a matt grey colour to be agreed with the local planning authority.
However officers are concerned that the turbines will dominate iconic views in the national park and will affect users of the Cleveland Way.
“Roseberry Topping, Park Nab, Captain Cook’s Monument, Hanging Stone Viewpoint, High Cliff Nab, Low Moor–Birkbrow and Carlton Bank are all important view points along the north and western edge of the National Park, from which points the proposed development will be clearly visible,” the report prepared for park authority members says.
“Whilst the general impact of the development will lessen as one travels south and west from the site and the development will be seen in the context of the wider landscape, the proposed development will significantly harm the landscape character in views north to Roseberry Topping.”
The report adds: “The turbines would be visible from a considerable area of the National Park, in locations where the context for the development will be largely the moorland area of the National Park.
“This will introduce a new and entirely unacceptable visual intrusion into the National Park Landscape which will result in a detrimental impact to the special qualities of the National Park in particular this will harm the feeling of remoteness and tranquillity by visually bringing an ‘industrialised development’ into the park.”
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