New plans to make several wind turbines bigger in the East Riding look set to be given the go-ahead, despite objections from residents.
An application by German company Energiekontor UK Limited to increase the length, rotor diameter and height of nine wind turbines outside of Withernwick has been submitted to East Riding Council.
The proposal for Withernwick wind farm, which goes before the council’s planning committee on Thursday, looks set to win approval, subject to conditions.
Energiekontor is seeking planning permission to amend the turbine design by allowing the attachment of rotor blade extensions (RBE) on the nine existing operational turbines on the site.
This will increase the length of the blades from 41 to 43.5 metres, the roof diameter from 82 to 87 metres and tip height from 111 to 113.5 metres. The company says this will improve energy yield from the wind farm by around 7 per cent.
However, Mappleton Parish Council has objected to the plans, expressing concerns about the potential increase in noise pollution.
It told the East Riding Council: “Adding 2.5 metres to the tips of the existing nine wind turbines does not look a lot but [it] is going to affect the noise and flicker levels.
“We have two properties within the Parish that are badly affected by the already considerable noise at certain times, when the winds are in a south to south west direction.”
It added: “This application adds further to the ‘Industialisation’ of our surrounding countryside. Although not a heavy population, [the] effect on some local people can be quite devastating.”
A total of five objections were sent to the council, with the vast majority of complaints centring on the noise projected from the turbines.
In the objection comments listed in the planning report, one resident said the turbine can exceed the noise guidelines of 40dB, even reaching 65dB on a windy day.
The objector compared the noise to being “akin to a vacuum hoover,” while the majority of the time the turbines sound like a “humming fridge” that can be heard through double glazing.
Despite this, the planning officer notes that a noise assessment submitted with the application concludes the wind farm can continue to operate in accordance with the noise limits – even after the installation of the rotor blade extension.
According to an Environmental Impact Assessment in 2017, the proposed scheme represents an acceptable form of development, siting and design and will not result in any significant harm to the character and appearance of the landscape or the open countryside.
In a report to go before the planning committee on Thursday, the council’s director of planning and economic regeneration Alan Menzies stated that local planning policy supports the principal of the application.
He said: “There are no design; landscape; visual amenity; residential amenity; nature conservation; ecology; radar; communication; safety; access; parking or highway safety concerns.”
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