Campaigners are celebrating after a scheme to create a six-turbine wind farm near Lindley Wood Reservoir was withdrawn.
Infinis announced its interest in installing a group of 126-metre-high turbines on Lindley Moor, just 400 metres from the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in early 2014.
Objectors had warned the farm, on raised land less than three miles from Otley, would have been visible from far off and spoil scenic views.
They also feared it would contribute, along with several other proposed similar schemes, to the creation of a 42-turbine cluster in the area, resulting in the largest wind farm in England.
Those other proposals, however, have also been rejected or withdrawn, one by one, much to the delight of campaign group Save the Dales.
Spokesman, Gerry Smith, said: “The Lindley Moor scheme’s withdrawal this week is fantastic news and no doubt a huge relief to many.
“The initial intentions of having 42 massive turbines next to the Nidderdale AONB seemed inconceivable, but it was very real and could well have happened.
“All the developers clearly believed a precedent had been set by the existing Knabs Ridge wind farm, and that Harrogate Borough Council would have no choice but to allow this desecration to go ahead.
“No doubt Infinis had been keeping a close eye and took note of the unabated strength of public feeling, the recent refusal of the Tapar application and, not least, the change in Government sentiment.
“I congratulate them for making the correct decision.”
Ben Ridder, a project developer for Infinis Energy plc, informed Harrogate of the decision, writing: “In January, 2014, LDA Design submitted a scopinig opinion for a wind farm at Lindley Moor.
“This submission was made on behalf of Lindley Moor Wind Farm Ltd, a subsidiary of Infinis.
“Following review of the project, Infinis has decided not to proceed with submission of a planning application.”
Leeds City Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) said: “I’m not against wind turbines per se but this farm would have blighted an area used extensively for leisure, with walks and paths through and out of the adjoining forests.
“These walks are popular because of the tranquility, the stunning views and the diverse flora and fauna.
“Six extremely large wind turbines would surely have had a detrimental impact on all of that.
“I’m pleased the company has decided not to go ahead.”
In February, 2014, Kelda – part of Yorkshire Water – withdrew its plans for two adjoining wind farms, totalling 24 turbines of up to 125 metres in height, on Haverah Park and Penny Pot Lane, citing the strength of public opposition as the reason.
Then in March this year, Tapar’s planning application for four, 110-metre turbines was unanimously rejected by Harrogate Borough Council’s planning committee.
As previously reported in the Wharfedale & Aireoborough Observer, Save the Dales is co-ordinating opposition to a two, 48m (to the blade ends) turbine scheme proposed by Rigton High Moor, near Almscliffe Crag.
A decision on those plans, the application number for which is 15/01718/FU, is due to be made by June 19.
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