An appeal against planning refusal for a huge wind turbine on Bingley Moor has been rejected by a Government inspector.
Yorkshire Water’s parent company Kelda hoped to overturn a Bradford Council decision and win approval for the 85m-tall turbine on its land next to Graincliffe Water Treatment Works, near Dick Hudson’s pub in High Eldwick.
Kelda claimed it would create 850 kilowatts of electricity to power engineering at the reservoir and cut 1,019 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.
But the Government’s planning inspector Alan Robinson ruled the impact of the alien structure on an area of significant Green Belt was overwhelmingly negative.
And he was concerned that the large white windmill could ruin the experience of ramblers visiting the area.
“It seems to me that many of those using the footpaths in the area are likely to place great importance on experiencing the repose and visual tranquillity of the landscape in and around the Rombalds Ridge,” Mr Robinson said.
“This is in contrast to the towns and villages clustered along the Aire and Wharfe valleys to the south and north respectively.
“The turbine would be seen as an unduly conspicuous element within the landscape and impinge upon the visual tranquillity of the countryside.”
Mr Robinson also noted the impact there would be on popular pub restaurant, Dick Hudson’s in Otley Road.
“From this viewpoint, the turbine would form an intrusive and conspicuous feature,” Mr Robinson said, before concluding that Kelda’s appeal would not be granted.
Dick Hudson’s licensee Robbie Wild said he was pleased with the outcome and many of his customers would be overjoyed.
“The views are one reason many people come here and they’ll be delighted not to have a big white windmill in the way,” Mr Wild said.
“We get a lot of walkers coming off the moorland who are here for the view, and from a business point, that’s part of the package we offer,” he said.
Councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley) said it was a heartening decision: “It’s been a long process for local residents and it just shows the Government inspector has listened to local opinion and it vindicates Bradford Council’s original decision.”
A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “We are very disappointed with the news that the planning application appeal for a single turbine to power our Graincliffe Water Treatment Works, near Eldwick has been refused.
“The wind turbine would power up to 97 per cent of Graincliffe Water Treatment Works energy needs, which provides safe, clean drinking water to the local area. This proposal supports our aspiration to generate 50 per cent of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.
“We are currently reviewing the reasons why the appeal has been refused and will then review our next steps.”
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