Wind farm scheme in Dales rejected

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CONTROVERSIAL plans for three wind turbines in picturesque Dales countryside have been rejected.

Members of Craven Council’s planning committee voted unanimously to turn down an application for the wind farm on land next to Brightenber Hill, which is near Stainton Hall, close to the village of Gargrave.

More than 1,000 people had objected to the scheme, with a similar number writing in support.

Around 150 people filled Gargrave village hall to hear the decision.

Councillors turned down the plans on the basis that they would have “an unacceptable dominant and oppressive impact” on the occupants of Ash Tree Farm due to the proximity to the turbines nearby.

The committee decided that the “spread of turbines across the outlook from that property (the farm)” and the lack of screening were unacceptable.

In voting against the plans, councillors went against the advice of the council’s planning officers.

A previous application, which was for five turbines, had also been turned down, although the grounds for its refusal were overturned at a planning inquiry.

Yesterday Gargrave councillor Alan Sutcliffe, a member of the planning committee, said: “I fully support the urgent need for renewable energy and recognise the role which wind turbines can fulfil in helping to provide.

“However, on this occasion, the modest output of the three turbines would have had an unacceptable effect on life at Ash Tree Farm and the local environment.”

He added: “Quite simply, the committee considered the three turbine proposal was no better than the original five turbine proposal.”

The applicant, EnergieKontor, has six months to decide whether to appeal against the decision.

Objectors included the Ramblers’ Association and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.