Huge support in wind farm battle

CAMPAIGNERS fighting plans for a huge wind farm on the edge of Scarborough have received major support in their battle against the proposals.

Residents in Heslerton have hit out at plans from RWE npower renewables to build 10 turbines standing 126 metres high near the villages.

And their campaign has now been galvanised by three-pronged backing from English Heritage, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the Military of Defence.

The wind farm proposals, which the company have said could power around 14,500 homes, were put on public display last year with more than 200 people attending the exhibition and 65 per cent responding in favour to a RWE questionnaire on the plans.

The company added any developments would be “sympathetic” to the area.

However, hundreds of villagers and 24 neighbouring parish councils have now lodged objections to the turbines.

Dr Diane Green, an Inspector of Historic Buildings for English Heritage, said the turbines would considerably damage the aesthetic beauty of the area.

She said: “The area is significant for the diversity and continuity of its heritage assets.

“The fringe of upland to the north and south contains an unparalleled collection of buried intact pre-historic and later landscapes and structures standing earthworks and ruins, a distinctive landscape and extensive architecture.

“We consider the proposed wind farm would alter the way the landscape is experienced and read and the setting of numerous heritage assets would be harmed.

Resident Magnus Gallie, who is also a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, added the wind farm would cause significant visual impairment to an area recognised as having High Landscape Value.

He said: “The most recent press release from RWE npower renewables claims this development will have ‘minimal’ environmental and social impacts and is sympathetic to the surrounding area’ but we are delighted that English Heritage shares our view that this is a misrepresentation of the facts.

“Development which would materially detract from the scenic quality of the landscape will be resisted and will only be permitted where it is incapable of being located outside the Area of High Landscape Value and designed to do as little damage to the environment as possible.”

The Ministry of Defence has also outlined a number of problems with the plans, highlighting wind turbines as being intrinsic factors in detrimentally affecting radar systems at Staxton Wold.

And Janet Sanderson, secretary of the Ryedale branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, also pointed to flaws in the proposals.

She added: “The developers could hardly have chosen a site with a more negative impact on the landscape.

“The turbines would be visible from the top of Rosedale, from Ravenscar, Flamborough Head and much of Ryedale and the south of Scarborough.

“The Campaign to Protect Rural England is not opposed to on-shore wind development and accepts a considerable increase in capacity is part of the Government’s energy policy.

“But that should only take place after a detailed study of the landscape and its sensitivity to structures have been carried out.”

Residents in the area have until June 2 to contact Ryedale Council and put forward their views on the wind farm application.