Plans for a wind turbine taller than York Minster that would tower over the flat farmland around the city have provoked outrage.
Renewable energy company EDP has applied for permission to put a 78-metre-high turbine at Ivy House Farm, beside the A1079 at Kexby, prompting concern and objections from the local MP, ward councillor, and nearby residents.
According the EDP’s planning statement, the single turbine could power 600 homes and will provide an important diversification and income from Ivy House Farm. The turbine would be 20 metres taller than the Minster.
Many are concerned about the size of the turbine, which they say will tower above the surrounding flat countryside and dominate the entry into York, and they say it could lead to many more turbines being put up in the area.
Ward councillor Jenny Brooks said: “This pylon will be half as high again as the pylons nearby, and will include a concrete substation.
“We could become like Newark on Trent, where it started with one or two but there’s now concern about how many pylons are there.”
The application shows the turbine’s hub will stand at 50m above ground – slightly short of the Morrison’s chimney on Foss Islands Road – while the tip of the highest blade will reach 78m when vertical – 17m higher than York Minster.
As well as the visual intrusion, many are worried about the effect on wildlife, the health hazards, and what they fear is the dangerous siting of the turbine between the busy A1079 and the high voltage power lines bringing electricity for the whole of York.
Kexby woman Jo Middleton said she had moved to the village specifically for the green space and quiet rural location.
She added: “I think a wind turbine would have a huge detrimental affect on the beauty of the area as well as the wildlife. Our green belts and nature should be looked after and maintained, not lost for profit.”
Another resident, Tony Mannix, said he cannot dispute the need for renewable energy, but does not want to see the scenic approach to York and the greenbelt sacrificed.
York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has been talking to the city council about the plan since the first “screening opinion” was submitted back in February.
He said: “The proposed turbine will be nearly 20 metres higher than York Minister and will blight the city’s beautiful countryside surroundings. I fear it will impact greatly on local wildlife and residential and visual amenity. Due to its greenbelt location it clearly represents inappropriate development and to my mind, it must be rejected by the council”.
The MOD have objected to the plan, saying a turbine of that height only 23km from RAF Linton-on-Ouse will create “unacceptable” interference with their air traffic control systems, while civil aviation company NATS has said it needs more time to assess whether the turbine would put aircraft in danger.
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