Councillors are being advised to reject a bid to install a wind turbine which would top 100ft on a North Yorkshire farm.
Dairy farmer John Brennand wants to erect the turbine, which would have a tip height of 113ft, on grazing land associated with Boostagill Farm, Rathmell, close to the boundary of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to provide energy for the business.
Mr Brennand said: “It has more local support than opposition. The cost of running dairy units is quite colossal. You need to make savings or introduce other aspects where you can. Whether we get this one or not there is a decline in small dairy farms throughout the area and throughout the country because it is very hard to make a living out of milking cows, especially in upland areas. Things like this are needed to ensure the viability of small family farms. My parents are still working but they are past retirement age. This turbine will effectively create two full time jobs. It would see a reduction in energy costs and generate some income to pay wages.”
Craven Council chairman, Councillor Donald Whaites, who represents Settle and Ribble Banks ward, requested the application be referred to the local authority’s planning committee.
A committee report says: “He comments that the purpose of the turbine is to make the farm more economical for milk production and there is a need to support the proposal. He also comments that there are a number of turbines in the area, especially in Lancashire, that break the skyline.”
But Ribble Banks Parish Council has objected to the development, branding it “excessive in scale” and claiming it will be visible across a wide area of the parish. In the report, the parish council comments: “The proposal would introduce a tall, man made steel structure into a rural landscape already blighted by five different and largely plainly visible turbine installations. This installation would add to the already adverse effect of wind turbine installations on the landscape, character and amenity in the area.”
Eight parties have contacted Craven Council backing the development and two against. Supporters say the family dairy farm’s need for affordable electricity is “vital to their long term business sustainability” but critics claim the wind turbine would “damage and degrade” the local landscape. They fear the cumulative impact of wind turbines in the area has an “adverse impact on the character and appearance of the special landscape.”
Craven Council’s planning committee will be advised to refuse permission for the turbine when members meet on Monday.