Fears over wind farm proposal near village

Burton Fleming Village Hall'Public meeting of the proposed wind farm'PA1107-9e'Phil Dyke'Development director
Burton Fleming Village Hall'Public meeting of the proposed wind farm'PA1107-9e'Phil Dyke'Development director

RESIDENTS of a Wolds village turned out to see details of a proposed wind farm development they fear could affect their quality of life.

Up to 14 wind turbines, 145 metres high, could be built on farmland between Burton Fleming village and nearby Hunmanby.

The South Dale wind farm, capable of generating enough power to run 26,500 homes, is proposed by Banks Renewables, a Durham-based family-owned company who held an exhibition in the village hall last week where they faced concerns about the visible impact and noise problems for villagers.

There were also concerns about the increasing number of such applications in the East Riding, from East Wolds and Coastal East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Jane Evison who said: “This is in an area we are trying to protect, it does not do a lot for tourism.

‘‘We have to think about what is going to happen to energy in the future but we also have to look after the environment.

“You cannot just dump every wind farm in the East Riding, which is what it feels like.”

Their application follows one announced earlier this month by Wind Prospect Developments Ltd who want to build a nine-turbine Thornholme Field wind farm on land north of Thornholme village and not far from Burton Agnes.

Waste Recycling Group has also submitted a planning application for two wind turbines on its site at Carnaby.

So far Banks Renewables have only applied to Scarborough District Council for permission to put up a temporary 80 metre high mast to test wind conditions, but have said if everything proves satisfactory and subject to all relevant planning permissions, the wind farm could be a reality by 2014.

The site lies across the boundary in North Yorkshire and outside East Riding of Yorkshire Councils area.

“East Riding planning officers plan to meet with Scarborough planning officers to discuss matters. I am reassured both authorities are talking on this. We just do not want to spoil the views of the landscape.

‘‘The East Riding is getting a lot of these applications and it is overall impact which is of concern,” said Coun Evison.

One local resident who agreed was Linda Stockhill, of Thwing Road. After visiting last week’s exhibition she felt the South Dale wind farm proposals would have little effect on the village.

“But we moved here for the Wolds scenery and this beautiful area and it is now getting to the point where it is being damaged,” said Mrs Stockhill.

Residents at the exhibition were told by company officials the wind farm turbines will be two miles away from the village centre and much closer to Hunmanby.

Margaret Lowther and neighbour Peter Taylor, of The Crescent, said they had been reassured by what they had seen and heard.

“It does not look like there will be any noise problem, and I don’t think we will be able to see the turbines,” said Mrs Lowther.

John Coleman of Westfield Farm, who was among those who earlier this month successfully objected against plans for a huge pig finishing unit near the village, said: “I have a small turbine on the farm and we cannot hear that, and as far as I can see they will not really be visible from the village,” he said.

However, Michael Wilson of High Croft, Hunmanby, whose home will be amongst the closest to the northern edge of the site where turbines will be located was worried about noise and the route of cables taking the power to the national grid.

“I think I have had my questions answered in relation to noise which I have been assured will be at a low level, but I am still concerned about how the power will leave the site.

“We already have one major power line on pylons across the fields, I would not like to think there will be another. I would prefer it if the cable was underground, but I am sure that would cost a lot more,” said Mr Wilson.

Banks Renewables Development Director Phil Dyke said noise would not be an issue for Burton Fleming village as the turbines would be approximately two miles away.

“From almost all views from the village they would not be seen, and if they were visible it would only be the tips of the blades,” said Mr Dyke.

Mr Dyke said the company understood people’s concerns and they were anxious to work with local people.

“A dedicated community fund would be established for this wind farm if planning permission is granted and how that money would be used would be agreed with community representatives,” he said.

He stressed the proposal was at its earliest stage, and more public meetings would be held to update residents on progress.

The Banks Group develop land for a variety of uses including residential and commercial property, surface mining, renewable energy and energy from waste.

It is currently planning a number of wind farm sites in Yorkshire, the Midlands and North East.

These include five turbine sites at Hagg Wood, off Wetherby Road, York, a similar development at Hook Moor, off the A1 near Leeds, and others near Bradford, Halifax and Barnsley. A site is currently under construction near Doncaster – although none are as as big as the South Dale scheme.