Public inquiry into Bridlington wind farm to begin

Artists impression of how the turbines would look from Auburn Sands, near Fraisthorpe. Picture released by TCI Renewables
Artists impression of how the turbines would look from Auburn Sands, near Fraisthorpe. Picture released by TCI Renewables

A PUBLIC inquiry to decide whether nine large scale wind turbines will be built overlooking Bridlington Bay at Fraisthorpe is set to begin next week.

The inquiry, chaired by a planning inspector, is due to start at Bridlington Town Hall on Tuesday.

Fraisthorpe Wind Farm Ltd submitted its application to build the 420ft to blade tip turbines to East Riding of Yorkshire Council in February, but after the council took longer than the statutory eight week period to determine the application, they made an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in August.

The council’s Planning Committee had unanimously rejected the proposals, stating that “the height, number and location” of turbines would introduce “uncharacteristic vertical structures into the relatively unspoilt coastline of Bridlington Bay” and that the proposal would “visually dominate the landscape”.

Council planning officers also said the proposed wind farm would cause unacceptable interference to the radar at RAF Staxton Wold, after the Ministry of Defence objected to the plan.

More than 360 residents lodged objections to the plan, while Bridlington Town Council, Carnaby Parish Council and Barmston and Fraisthorpe Parish Council also recommended that it should be refused.

Bruce Hutt, director at TCI Renewables, the company behind Fraisthorpe Wind Farm Ltd, told the Free Press earlier this year that they had expected the council to refuse the application and had made an appeal to the planning inspectorate to “speed up the planning process.”

Eighteen villagers in Fraisthorpe signed a letter to the Planning Inspectorate in September objecting to the plans.

Residents of the small village, which has roughly 20 houses, were reacting to claims by TCI Renewables that 60% of those living within one kilometre of the proposed site were in favour of the plans.

A further letter, from those living in Wilsthorpe and the south east boundary of Carnaby parish, was also sent to the Planning Inspectorate, signed by 20 households in the area. Only three households were in favour of the turbines.

TCI Renewables said the proposed wind farm could generate enough clean electricity for around 11,800 homes and could save some 22,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.

Bridlington resident John Elsom, who is set to speak at the inquiry, said: “I believe Bridlington Bay to be an area of outstanding natural beauty.

“These turbines will be huge and will in my opinion dominate the bay.

“It seems to me that Bridlington Bay is absolutely core to the prosperity of our town and we must not do anything that risks the diminishment of our attraction as a seaside town. As if that were to happen the town’s economy would be damaged.

“Please remember that if these turbines go up they will be there for a minimum of 25 years.”