The lives of two Craven farming families would be destroyed by the impact of three 328ft high wind turbines, a hearing heard.
If built, the impact on the families would be relentless, there would be no escape either when inside their homes, or outside on their farms, whether working, or enjoying a barbecue, the public hearing heard.
The two-day hearing in Skipton heard evidence for and against EnergieKontor’s plans to build the three turbines on farmland at Brightenber Hill, near Gargrave.
It was the third appeal hearing over the seven years since the company first submitted plans for five turbines on the same site.
But around 40 people, including three planning barristers, were told by government inspector, Mike Robins, that since the last appeal decision had been quashed following a legal challenge at the end of last year, no weight could be attached to it.
Mr Robins did, however, stress that he had all past papers and evidence and was happy to listen to anyone who wanted to speak and would spend a large part of the second day carrying out a “substantial” site visit.
That would include the closest farms to the site, Ash Tree Farm and Haugh Field Farm, the listed Gledstone Hall, Stainton Cotes, and distant viewpoints, even possibly Malham Tarn.
David Hardy, counsel for EK, said a sum of money had been offered to the owner of Ash Tree Farm for the planting of trees to screen the development.
He said the last appeal decision must be seen as “waste paper” and that the right decision was to allow the appeal.
He argued that EK had responded in the right way after the first appeal which he claimed focused on the two turbines closest to Ash Tree Farm, and since they were no longer part of the scheme, the application must be allowed to go ahead.
But the hearing heard from both Ian Coates, of Ash Tree Farm, and Jonathan Berresford, of Haugh Field Farm, about the devastating impact of the three turbines on their lives.
Mr Coates explained how they would be visible from 90 per cent of his land and how his 16-year-old daughter had commented how it seemed they had been fighting the turbines all her life.
“We will be living and working in the fields around the turbines the whole time and there will be no respite,” he said.
Mr Berresford, who supplies Morrisons Supermarket, said the impact on his farm would be every bit as bad as on Ash Tree Farm.
“Every window would face the nearest turbine, there would be no escape and no respite,” he said.
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