Bridlington MP calls for ‘moratorium’ on wind farm plans

Bridlington MP Greg Knight

Bridlington MP Greg Knight

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BRIDLINGTON MP Greg Knight has called for a “moratorium” on new wind turbines across the area - as figures reveal East Yorkshire has had the highest number of planning applications for large onshore wind developments over the past decade.

Attracted by the area’s wide open spaces and relatively cheap land, developers have submitted 25 separate applications since 2002 for wind farms of over 10KW in size.

Most smaller, single-turbine developments are not included in the figures.

Mr Knight said he was “not surprised” that the East Riding seemed to be targeted by developers and called for a “moratorium” on onshore turbines from the coalition Government.

“People living here have seen these developments coming and are well aware that we are shouldering more than our fair share of wind farms across the UK,” he said.

“My view is that there is now a case for a moratorium in the East Riding. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and we are getting to the stage now where the number of wind farms is coming close to desecrating it.”

The statistics published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show there have been 76 such applications across Yorkshire as a whole over the past 10 years, with the East Riding’s neighbouring authority, North Lincolnshire, in second place within the region with seven applications.

Further figures released by DECC show 11 of the 25 applications in the East Riding have been approved, with four turned down by the local council. The rest have not yet been determined.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council said there were a number of geographical reasons why the area is proving so popular for wind developers, and stressed it must treat each application on its own merits in accordance with the planning laws set out by the Government.

Pete Ashcroft, head of planning and development management for the local authority, said: “The number of planning applications for wind farms in the East Riding reflects many factors, including the size of the local authority area, its high level of wind resource, and ease of access with close proximity to a major port.

“The council has always endeavoured to consider wind farm applications on their merits, taking into account national policy on renewable energy as well as the views of the community and responses to consultations.

“A number of applications have been refused by the council – but with the decision overturned on appeal to the planning inspectorate.”

Mr Knight went on to say he would like to see government subsidy for onshore wind farms removed, with greater support for other renewable energy such as wave power - to be increased.

• Meanwhile, anti wind-farm campaigners have raised concerns over plans for a 218ft turbine in Rudston.

WD Sellars & Sons want to install a 218ft turbine within half a mile of what is reputedly England’s oldest inhabited village, home of the famous Rudston monolith, the tallest standing stone in England.

The farming business, which extends to 1,550 acres, says it will help diversify and buffer income from increasingly volatile commodity markets.

But objectors are concerned it will spoil views of the 25ft monolith looking west from the churchyard and from Rudston House.

Angela Dawson, of Rudston House, states in her objection: “Many visitors a year come to Rudston House where Winifred Holtby was born to see the views to the west of the house and farm which she wrote about. A wind turbine at Springdale Farm would tower over Rudston House and all the houses of Rudston especially on the west side of the village.”

Campaigner David Hinde, said: “There can’t be a more inappropriate spot in this Neolithic landscape for an industrial turbine of this magnitude which will be seen from as far away as Flamborough and Beverley.”