Plan for wind farm in ‘Hockney landscape’ delayed amid outcry

REVISED plans for a £35m wind farm near the Yorkshire coast in the landscape recently made famous by David Hockney’s paintings, are set for further delays in the face of a growing backlash against the controversial scheme.

The long-running proposals for the South Dale wind farm, earmarked for farming land close to Hunmanby, near Filey, have sparked a wave of opposition from residents and senior politicians to the development which could see up to nine 132m wind turbines built.

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey has joined forces with Euro MP Godfrey Bloom and Bridlington MP Greg Knight against the plans alongside the No to Wolds Wind Farm Group.

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Over the past six months, Banks Renewables has been developing updated proposals for the scheme following a year-long public consultation and had originally hoped to put a planning application to Scarborough Borough Council by the summer.

However, it has now announced that the expected submission date for its planning application has been pushed back to later in the year.

Miss McIntosh says she is opposing all wind farms in the area which has been put under the national spotlight this year through Bridlington artist David Hockney’s acclaimed exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.

Reacting to the latest delay to hit the scheme, she said: “I campaigned in Hunmanby in the recent by election, opposing any wind farm development for Hunmanby. My position was clear at the time of the last election and remains the case.

“I remain very clear that I stood at the election on a pledge to oppose wind farms, not least because of the over head power lines which are a blight on the countryside.

“I will resist wind farm developments in my constituency as being unreliable, dependent on hidden Government subsidies and grossly inefficient in delivering a renewable mix of energy.

“I will continue to oppose such windfarm developments when there is a very good renewable source of energy at Drax which benefits local farmers and growers by using their product grown locally. I believe subsidies for renewable energy should be reviewed in favour of and a fairer balance for biomass.”

Banks Renewables says the scheme has been pushed back because a range of information gathering activities are still continuing, including a residential amenity study that is being carried out locally by an independent consultant.

The firm says it would also deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people through a benefits fund that would offer £75,000 every year – around £1.8m in total over the wind farm’s 25-year lifespan – for projects in the area.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “We’ve made good progress in developing the updated design for the South Dale scheme following valuable input from the community panel, but want to make sure we’ve looked at every relevant piece of information before we finalise our ideas.

“Having promised to keep everyone informed about the progress we’re making, we are now communicating with all interested parties about the stage we’ve reached and the work that remains for us to do.

“The community panel meetings and public exhibitions to which we’ve committed still remain very much part of our plans, and we will be letting everyone know when they will take place as soon as we’ve got everything ready for the next stage of the planning process.

“We remain confident that we will put forward a scheme design that is both environmentally acceptable for this location and capable of making a significant contribution to meeting the area’s renewable energy generation targets.”