Historic England is ‘strongly opposed’ to plans to site two 118ft-high wind turbines to power a farm near Addingham.
The protector of ancient monuments says the turbines planned for Chelker House Farm – on the border of Craven and Bradford districts – which are currently the subject of an appeal, would be be visible from the ‘multiple heritage assets’ of Bolton Abbey.
A residents’ campaign group – Stop the Wharfedale Turbines – which is urging people to object to the plans, say they would also spoil views throughout Wharfedale, including from Ilkley Moor.
Historic England further points out it made similar objections to plans by Yorkshire Water to site turbines at Chelker Reservoir, just 800 metres away from the new proposed site, between 2009 and 2012. They were later refused permission by Craven District Council and the old, outdated turbines they were planned to replace were removed towards the end of 2013, just before the council was due to take enforcement action.
Bradford Council refused permission for the latest farm turbines, over the Craven border, in August last year, siting harm to the heritage assets of Bolton Abbey and a negative impact on views in the area, which, since the removal of the turbines at Chelker Reservoir, have been ‘open and clear’ of significant vertical structures.
But applicant, DC21, says the turbines will power the family-run dairy farm, its two robotic milk machines, milk cooling equipment and two homes.
And it says an assessment has been carried out that demonstrates there will be ‘no significant impact on the surrounding heritage assets’.
It adds: “The impacts of the proposed development are within acceptable limits, bringing it in line with national and local policy.
“There can be no doubt this development would help underpin the viability of the farming business, as well as contributing significantly to the supply of energy from renewable sources.”
Residents opposed to the development have set up a website – Stop the Wharfedale Turbines – and are calling on people to object to the Planning Inspectorate before the comments deadline at the end of the month.
They claim if allowed, the two new turbines would be added to another two nearby farm turbines, which have already been given planning consent but are yet to be built.
A spokesman said: “Set on very high ground, close to Chelker Reservoir and within designated greenbelt, the turbines will be only some 2.4km from the national park and will be in stark view from numerous locations.
“It will also be a despoiling focal point in treasured vistas throughout Wharfedale, including from the renowned Cow and Calf Rocks, as well as Ilkley Moor.
“Due to the close proximity to DC21’s appealed turbines, from some locations all four turbines will appear as one wind farm. In many vistas, including from the national park, it will appear that the previously removed Yorkshire Water wind farm at Chelker Reservoir has returned. ”
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