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MP joins residents in opposition to Kirkby Overblow wind turbine

An MP has added his voice to residents who fear the Lower Wharfedale landscape will be lost if plans for a turbine are given the go ahead.

Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams is supporting local opposition to the planning application for a wind turbine with a tip height of 34.5M on a field owned by Swindon Grange Farm in Kirkby Overblow.

According to a Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) spokesman, a site visit by the case officer will take place and representations from residents will be taken into account, specifically with regard to the greenbelt location.

Kirkby Overblow parish council chair David Yeadon spoke at a meeting of 65 people in All Saints School where the plans were discussed.

He said: “It is a beautiful area of countryside and it is a nice village.

“Our opposition is really to do with the visual impact of the turbine on greenbelt land and the village’s residential amenity.

“It is right on the ridge of the Wharfe Valley and it is really going to stand out. If you’re over across at Harewood for example this thing is going to hit you slap on.

“If approved, the application would see a turbine tower over 100ft above the village and less than 500m from local resident’s houses.”

Mr Adams spoke via video link at the meeting while his parliamentary aide, Howard Ferguson, explained how increasing numbers of turbines make their way into the countryside once one is accepted.

“For too many years now when it comes to on-shore wind farm applications local residents have been ignored by inspectors and very well-financed companies have been able to ride roughshod over community views,” Mr Adams said.

“Myself, alongside my other Conservative colleagues, have been approaching the government about restoring democracy in the planning process when it comes to on-shore wind and I am delighted that that lobbying appears to be paying off.

“I have had some success in opposing on-shore turbines and I am not a huge fan because it is intermittent and not good value for money for the taxpayer. But most importantly when communities are opposed to the development this needs to be a considerable factor when decisions are being made.”

The agents AAH Planning Consultants did not wish to comment, however according to their planning statement care was taken not to introduce an overbearing structure and the design has sought to respect the landscape.

The application decision has been delegated to case officers in consultation with the planning committee chair.