Pickles backs Yorkshire turbine campaign

CAMPAIGNERS in a Yorkshire hamlet are celebrating after plans for a giant turbine were blocked in the latest evidence of the Government’s growing opposition to onshore wind power.

Vet Louise Davison is celebrating at the blocking of plans for a wind turbine near her home

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has intervened to refuse planning permission for the 60m high turbine near Wistow Lordship.

The proposal had been referred to a Government planning inspector but in an unusual move Mr Pickles took the final decision.

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He agreed with the inspector that the turbine would have a damaging impact in terms of its visual impact on the countryside while the noise would disturb those living nearby.

Vet Louise Davison said she and her fellow Wistow Lordship residents, who raised £8,500 to fight the proposal, were “overjoyed” at the decision.

“Challenging this proposal has required considerable investment of time, energy and personal finances but the end result has left us elated,” she said.

“It proves that the quiet yet persistent voice of a small and united community can be heard above the shouts of a large wind development company and has safeguarded the environment of Wistow Lordship for the future.

“We hope that we can now put this behind us and enjoy the peace and beauty of the place we are lucky enough to call home.”

Mr Pickles has been calling in planning applications to see what impact guidelines issued last year on wind turbines are having.

The guidelines were designed to force wind farm developers to engage with communities nearby before submitting their applications.

Wind energy firms were angered by Mr Pickles’s decision last month to prolong his review of planning applications, effectively giving him an extended power of veto over onshore wind farms.

Opponents of the Wistow Lordship proposal had argued it would dominate the surrounding landscape and ruin the character of the area.

The Selby area has previously been described as “megawatt valley” because of the large number of applications to build wind turbines.

The people of Wistow Lordship have been backed in their campaign by Selby and Ainsty MP Nigel Adams.

He said: I am delighted that the Secretary of State, having looked into the matter, agrees with me that the proposal was unacceptable.

“The case is an excellent, but not unusual, example of the effort that small groups are prepared to put into fighting a single turbine application.

“The decision also shows that some local authorities are out of step with current Government thinking on where turbines are acceptable and where they are not.”

Mr Adams added: “The significant factor in this appeal and in the opposition to other single turbines is that small villages are raising large sums of money in order to protect the countryside around where they live.”