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Heslerton Wold wind farm plan axed

Wind turbines

Wind turbines

First published in News
Last updated

PLANS for ten 126m high wind turbines on the Yorkshire Wolds between Malton and Scarborough will not go ahead after the Secretary of State overturned a planning inspector's decision.

Permission for the wind farm - which has been the subject of a four year long planning wrangle - on Heslerton Wold was quashed in a decision by the Secretary of State.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles reviewed and then overturned a planning inspector's decision on RWE nPower's plans.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday, Eric Pickles said that even though the wind farm would boost the amount of renewable energy in Ryedale and help lower CO2 emissions, its impact on the cultural heritage and landscape of the area would be too much.

German based energy company RWE nPower was initially refused permission to build the 10 turbines, each 126 metres tall, high on agricultural land at Heslerton Wold when the case went to Ryedale District Council's planning committee.

It attracted heavy opposition for campaigners and local residents, including farmer Paul Stephens, who said:

"First and foremost, we didn't want an industrial operation - this wind farm - dominating our Yorkshire Wolds.

"We are farmers and have a duty as custodians of the land to look after it."

But the company then appealed refusal and the plans were approved by a planning inspector in February, before the Secretary of State announced he would review the decision because it was of such major significance to the area and, this week, overturned it.

Yesterday Mr Stephens welcomed the Secretary of State's decision to stand by local people and refuse the plans.

He said: "I am over the moon that it has come to this conclusion."

He and other campaigners had watched the Secretary of State's decisions on other wind farm cases and were hopeful the Heslerton case would also be turned down.

"The Secretary of State said six months ago that local people must have more say in their surroundings.

"Local people made their decision on this at the planning committee when it was refused, but when it went to appeal it became a dictatorship because one man - the planning inspector - can over rule local opinion."

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