An energy giant has u-turned on its intention to build a new wind farm near Driffield following the Government’s decision to scrap the onshore wind subsidy scheme.
The application, submitted to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council by EDF Energy Renewables, was for a proposed 10-turbine High Wood wind farm to be built on agricultural land between Tibthorpe, North Dalton and Bainton.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd confirmed in June that the Government will block new onshore wind farms from accessing the UK’s main renewables subsidy scheme from next year in an attempt to make good on the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge to ‘halt’ subsidies for new onshore wind farms.
The news has been met with delight by East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, who is the Parliamentary Vice-Chair of the campaigning group Together Against Wind.
He said: “I have no doubt that this change would not have happened if the new policy which abolishes the on-shore subsidy and proposes giving residents a greater say, had not been introduced.”
“Hopefully, this now means that the East Riding will see an end to further unwanted on-shore wind farm development which was threatening to completely blight our beautiful landscape.
“I am obviously very pleased that the policies I have advocated and supported are now being implemented -and they are clearly working as intended.”
EDF said that “after reviewing the scheme in the light of recent government announcements on onshore wind, the company has informed the East Riding of Yorkshire Council that it will not be proceeding with the proposed project”.
EDF said initially that the wind farm would supply up to 12,900 homes with electricity, saving an estimated 23,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
However East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s consultation on the planning application attracted over 700 individual objections and only two letters of support.
One of the campaign groups set up to fight against wind farm developments on the Yorkshire Wolds is ‘Stop Wolds Wind Farms’, which submitted a detailed case for refusal.
“This is good news for local residents and visitors to the Wolds”, said group chairman Ged Hitchin.
“We had the backing of the overwhelming majority of residents from surrounding villages to fight this application. We are very grateful to everyone who objected, and especially to those who put in the time and effort to support our campaign, and to fellow campaign groups who worked in partnership with us.
“Proposals for other major wind farms on the Wolds are still in the pipeline, and we need to keep up our efforts to preserve this unique landscape from industrialisation”, Mr Hitchin said.
National bodies such as English Heritage and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England rejected the scheme, while leading archaeologists warned that the project would harm a nationally-important site.
The site is currently owned by three land owners and is predominantly made up of large fields used for arable cultivations, pasture and grazing.
The planning application was scheduled to be considered by the council’s planning committee in September.