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Campaigners welcome support from national park authority in fight to block sprawl of wind turbines in east Cleveland

Campaigners fighting to block the spread of wind farms across east Cleveland have welcomed a report from the North York Moors National Park Authority strongly opposing one application.

Members of Fight in Guisborough to Halt Turbines group (FIGHT) are determined to persuade Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s planning committee to reject Banks Renewable’s application to erect five wind turbines on the outskirts of the town.

The County Durham-based company has carried a series of public consultation exercises since the summer in an attempt to win over residents in the town.

The North York Moors National Park Authority’s planning committee has recommended that the council reject the firm’s most recent application due to the unacceptable obtrusive impact upon the landscape.

The report highlights members concerns that due to the height of the turbines and the elevation of the application site, the proposed turbines will have a harmful and dominating impact on the prominence and visual integrity of Roseberry Topping and the other escarpment features along the edge of the National Park.

Peter Berry, a spokesman for the action group, believes the vast majority of residents oppose the scheme at Bank Field near the A171.

He said: “We are extremely pleased that the North Yorks Moors National Planning Authority has recommended the council refuse permission for the Guisborough wind farm.

“This confirms the opinion of the vast majority of the people polled in the area that these enormous industrial structures will destroy the views enjoyed by the residents and visitors to this area, with a probable effect of a reduction in house values and a fall in tourism income to the area.”

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, accepted the authority’s decision but maintains the company will continue to attempt to persuade people to approve the application for the 132m high turbines.

He said: “Our plans have received support from many local people, and we will continue to work with all interested parties across the community to ensure they’re able to make up their minds about the proposed scheme based on accurate, comprehensive information, and to provide them with opportunities to ask questions to us.

“It is regrettable that the National Park, as neighbouring authority, has taken a negative opinion of this proposal, but we will continue to engage with other stakeholders to enable them to make an informed decision about it.”