Hockney due to speak at Bridlington wind farm inquiry

David Hockney.
David Hockney.

WORLD-FAMOUS artist David Hockney is believed to be due to make representations at an inquiry over plans to build nine wind turbines overlooking Bridlington Bay.

More than 60 members of the public attended the first day of the public inquiry, which was opened by Government-appointed planning inspector Ken D. Barton on Tuesday and is expected to run until tomorrow.

The inquiry, held in Bridlington’s Town Hall, will aim to decide if the proposal to East Riding of Yorkshire Council from Fraisthorpe Wind Farm Ltd to erect the 420ft to tip turbines overlooking Bridlington Bay at Fraisthorpe, should go ahead.

Mr Hockney has in the past told the Free Press he is against wind turbines. He said: “They are big and ugly things and they are completely out of scale. They are too big.

“I certainly wouldn’t paint them. There are too many straight lines, they are unnatural,” he said.

The inquiry follows an appeal from the company to the Planning Inspectorate in August after East Riding of Yorkshire Council took longer than the statutory eight weeks to decide its stance on the application.

Barrister Martin Carter represented East Riding of Yorkshire Council and barrister David Hardy, of Eversheds, Leeds, represented the appellants, TCI Renewables, the company behind Fraisthorpe Wind Farm Ltd.

The inquiry heard of the withdrawal of an objection by the Ministry of Defence which had originally stated the turbines would interfere with radar equipment at RAF Staxton Wold.

Mr Barton said: “They do not now regard it as an insurmountable problem that the wind turbines show up on the radar. They are willing to work around it.”

Mr Carter, in a summary of his case, said: “The council case, in short, is the case for visual impact which would significantly outweigh the benefits.”

Mr Hardy stated the need to meet renewable energy targets at a regional and national level were among reasons for approval of the plan, and mentioned the wind turbine development at Carnaby saying “the impact would be acceptable.”

He said: “These wind turbines would be tackling climate change.

“You do not need to extract all the harm for them to be acceptable.”

He also listed a number of issues which faced no objection at consultation, including the impact the development could have on local tourism, cultural heritage and public safety.

Mr Barton asked members of public to state their interest in making representations at the inquiry, to which 25 people responded, some of whom submitted written statements.

Councillor Chad Chadwick, of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I would say for a member of Bridlington South, which includes the beach, I find it unacceptable.

“The turbines will be absolutely overbearing on the beach and south side of Bridlington.

“I personally feel it is an area of outstanding beauty. When you come back from Hull and Beverley the first thing you see is the vista of the bay.

“Tourists will not sit on the beach on the south side and it will have an impact on the local economy.”

Geoffrey Banks, a resident of Bridlington, gave a speech met with applause from members of the public, in which he said the turbines would be “ruinous to the natural landscape”.

He said: “This is a case in my opinion where the applicants are prepared to destroy some of the things we hold most precious.”

l See next week’s Free Press, out on Thursday, December 6, for a further report on the conclusion of the inquiry.