Wind farm: Battle’s ON

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BATTLE-LINES are being drawn in the fight over proposals to build a wind farm on the outskirts of Hunmanby.

A senior spokesman for Banks Renewables, backed by an academic, took on representatives of the village on local radio this week, with Cllr Godfrey Allanson revealing he had changed his position on wind power and was now against all land-based developments.

He said leading countries in the development of wind power were now having second thoughts, and he had concerns about its efficiency as a renewable source of energy.

Vice-chairman of the parish council and mechanical engineering graduate Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff said subsidies from the Government were “leading to a gold-rush” and “we may be spending a lot of money on a lame duck”.

However, Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables hit back, telling The Mercury: “Our ultimate goal at South Dale is to design a scheme that makes a very positive impact on climate change, brings tangible significant long-term benefits to local residents and is well designed. We are considering the feedback from local people who attended the public exhibitions and we are conducting further telephone surveys to seek the views of even more local people.

“When all this information has been put together, we will make the findings public, and would welcome local input.”

He said the company had still not submitted a planning application for the South Dale Wind Farm, which would have a maximum of 14 turbines up to 430ft in height, providing power to 26,500 homes.

He said: “Details such as the number, height and exact location of turbines are still a long way away from being finalised and we are looking forward to discussing the scheme further with the local parish councils and residents, enabling us to take feedback on board which will inform the final design that we put forward.”

Cllr Nick Harvey declined to take a position on the wind farm at this stage of the process. However, he said: “I do support wind power along with other renewable forms of energy like tidal power, but the key is for us all to live life that is less damaging to the planet and its people, and that means reducing energy consumption.”

He added: “I would urge people to ignore the offer of community investment by the developer at this stage and focus on the proposal, its potential impact to see if people views can reduce its impact on local people and the local environment.”

Meanwhile, Banks have submitted a separate planning application for a wind monitoring mast on the site which would be in place for three years (see page 29).

Anyone wanting more information on the South Dale proposals, or looking to express an opinion about the plans can contact the project team on (0191) 3786100 or email southdale@banksgroup.co.uk