CAMPAIGNERS against a wind farm – with turbines claimed to be twice the height of York Minster – are drawing up their case for a public inquiry into the scheme.
RWE nPower, a German-based energy company, wants to build 10 turbines at 126 metres high on some of the country’s finest agricultural land, at Heslerton Wold.
Ryedale District Council turned down the scheme earlier this year but now councillors and residents have been told the issue is to be settled following a public inquiry in November.
Paul Stephens of Moor Farm, West Heslerton, said his farm would border the site of the development. “The turbines will be higher than the Minster which is 60 metres high,” he said. “If the wind farm is built it will ruin a panoramic and historic landscape.”
His personal objection to the development is that it will jeopardise an airstrip he has nearby. “It will cause a huge safety problem,” said Mr Stephens. “The turbines won’t be sustainable because we believe they will only be 22 per cent efficient. They will only generate enough electricity to power won Inter-City train from to London.”
Leading Wolds farmer, James Cundall, said: “The turbines will be seen from as far away as the North York Moors National Park and Scarborough as well as being very close to the Wolds Way one of the country’s leading public rights of way.”
He added: “This landscape has remained undisturbed from Neolithic times but now it is threatened by greed of the power company and landowners.”
Mr Cundall said: “Those who have been complacent about the scheme will be very shocked with the turbines if they get planning permission at the inquiry”.
A crowd of landowners, farmers and residents from several villages on the Wolds gathered near the site to hear Edward Legard, a senior member of Ryedale District Council say: “The Wolds are a very precious and historic landscape. We are fighting as hard as we can to put the case to the Government planning inspector.”
He believed that Government planning policy was now in support of the public when they voiced their views strongly on such issues as wind farms. “We have strong grounds to object to this windfarm.”
Coun Legard said he was hoping to have an evening session at the inquiry, due to be held at Ryedale House, Malton starting on November 19 when residents would be able to have their say. In the meantime, objectors, he said, have until September 10 to put forward their views on line or in writing,to The Planning Inspectorate, at Bristol.
RWE say the scheme will provide power to several thousands of homes in the Ryedale area.