Planning inspector rejects wind farm

A WIND farm opposed by hundreds of residents has been rejected by a Government planning inspector.

Opponents campaigned hard against plans for five 125-metre tall turbines on green belt land at Hook Moor, near Micklefield, Leeds.

The scheme was rejected by council planners in 2009 but developer Banks Renewables appealed to the Government's Planning Inspectorate.

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A report from the Inspectorate's Chris Frost has dismissed Banks' appeal.

Mr Frost said the five turbines would "undoubtedly impinge on the openness of the green belt...there would be a harmful effect on the community at Micklefield arising from the proximity and intrusion of the proposed turbines."

Local councillor Mark Dobson welcomed the decision, and maintained wind farms should be sited well away from homes, such as coastal areas.

He stressed he supports sustainable energy but added the plan for Hook Moor was "totally untenable".

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The managing director of Banks Renewables, Phil Dyke, said: "We are naturally extremely disappointed that our Hook Moor wind farm plans have been rejected, especially after we had undertaken a great deal of work to address the concerns expressed by consultees to the planning application.

"There is widespread acceptance of the fact that renewable energy generation schemes must play a central role in meeting both local and national energy production requirements in the future, and by providing power for many thousands of homes without creating any harmful greenhouse gases, Hook Moor would have played a significant role in meeting renewable energy generation targets in an area in which there are currently no other such schemes."

Mr Dyke was certain the project was well thought out and the site suitable. The company would review the reason for the decision before deciding what to do.