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Wind turbines: Enough is enough say East Yorkshire villagers

Villagers in the county with the highest density of turbines in England are preparing to march to say “enough is enough.”

Residents in East Yorkshire are reporting health problems because of noise from the largest turbines, which they say is turning the county into an “industrial wasteland”.

The county has the second highest number of turbines in the country, after Northumberland, with 226 turbines over 50 metres high, either built, approved, or pending decision, as well as numerous agricultural turbines.

But applications have continued to flood in, with 63 “scoping requests” to East Riding Council since January, leaving many to feel they are “under siege”.

One of the organisers of the march in Beverley on July 12, Soraya Hutchinson, from Ellerker, said she had been moved to act by the distress she had seen at public meetings from people who felt prisoners in their own homes.

She said: “A lot of people opened their doors to turbines and allowed them to go up, but now the companies are back and wanting to put up more. It has affected some people so much they are ill and on anti-depressants.”

Boo O’Kane, another organiser, also from Ellerker, where three turbines 121-m high are proposed, warned that what people see now is “nothing to what you will see”. She said: “A lot of people are upset about it but feel there is nothing they can do. It’s a David and Goliath fight.

“We can all write letters and sign petitions, but the best way is to come together as one voice.”

In April Tory Energy Minister Michael Fallon said any project not granted planning permission before the election would not get funds as the UK would already have enough wind power to meet 2020 EU targets.

But residents believe applications have stepped up as developers rush to get in applications before subsidies run dry.

And while some hope was given by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles turning down two new wind farms at Thornholme Fields, near Burton Agnes and East Heslerton on appeal, last month, there are fears he will face a High Court challenge.

Company owner Bill Habergham, who moved to South Cave from Leeds last year, said his company in Kent had been approached by National Grid to see if they could turn off machines from 8pm, because of the potential for blackouts, as old coal and nuclear power stations are shut down.

He said: “We have replaced them with renewable energy, but the absurdity of it is anything that relies on weather is inherently fickle and need 100 per cent fossil fuel back up, for the days that the wind doesn’t blow.

“No one in East Yorkshire could be described as a nimby – we have them in our back yard. When I drive back up the A1 you see nothing in Kent, Huntingdonshire – but as soon as you turn the corner in North Lincolnshire it’s full of them.”

Andrew Heuck, from Withernwick, where developers want to add another four turbines to the nine already installed: “We already have a lot of noise from the turbines. Adding four more will just create more problems.”

Thousands of leaflets are being delivered ahead of the march meeting on the Westwood at 10am on July 12, before heading to County Hall. Meanwhile a meeting at Withernwick at the church on July 3 at 7pm will discuss the extension and plans for a potential gas well at West Newton. See www.beverleymarch.co.uk.