MoD says no to wind farm plan

An impression of how the turbines at Thornholme would look from West Back Side, Haisthorpe
An impression of how the turbines at Thornholme would look from West Back Side, Haisthorpe

THE Ministry of Defence has joined local councils and dozens of residents in objecting to plans for nine wind turbines near Burton Agnes.

World famous artist David Hockney and Bridlington MP Greg Knight have already spoken out against the turbines in the Free Press.

Now the MOD has raised concerns with planners that the proposed turbines - some of which would measure up to 360ft to blade tip - would have a “detrimental effect” on the operation of an Air Defence Radar based at nearby Staxton Wold.

A spokesperson for the MOD said: “After an in-depth technical assessment, the turbines have been found to be in radar line of sight to the Air Defence radar at Staxton Wold.

“The MOD has raised concerns with the development because it would prevent the RAF from providing a full air surveillance service in the area of the proposed wind farm.

“It has been clearly established that wind turbines can have detrimental affects on various types of radar and we cannot ignore that.

“Protecting military operations while allowing environmentally desirable projects to go ahead often requires us to strike a delicate balance, the MOD fully supports the Government’s renewable energy policies and targets but we have a clear responsibility to safeguard our operations and also to ensure the safety of Service personnel and the public.”

The proposed wind farm, known as Thornholme Field, would be situated on agricultural land around 6km south west of Bridlington, and would see nine turbines, six of which would measure up to 360ft in height.

More than 70 local residents - including campaigner George Hornsey of the Wolds Protection Group - have made representations to East Riding of Yorkshire Council about the plans.

Carnaby, Boynton, Burton Agnes, Rudston and Bridlington parish councils have also made written objections.

The Humber Archeaology Partnership have written to the council, calling the proposed wind farm site “a major archeaological landscape”, reccomending that the decision should be deferred until a full assessment is carried out.

The Bridlington and District Civic Society have also objected to the development - as the turbines would “dominate the surrounding area, and will be highly visible from most approaches to the town” and “add to the cumulative spoiling of the rural nature of the area”.

Today (Thursday October 13) is the last day that representations can be made to East Riding of Yorkshire Council - after which all input will be considered by case officers who will recommend to refuse or approve the plans before they go before the council’s planning committee.

According to developers Wind Prospect, if approved, the turbines would generate as much electricity each year, on average, as is used by more than 10,000 homes.

Catherine Taggart, development manager at Wind Prospect, said of the plans: “It is widely recognised that we cannot continue to rely on oil in the same way as we have done for so many years. Onshore wind energy is a mature, clean technology which is making a tangible and crucial contribution to European and UK Government renewable energy targets.”

“We understand that a development of this nature has an impact on the local community but we are encouraged by the level of support we have had from people in the area and hope supporters will make their voice heard.”

The full apllication can be seen at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning applications web pages, using the reference 11/03999/STPLFE.