Protesters fighting plans for a controversial wind farm near Selby reacted angrily last night after learning a planning inspector has allowed the development to go-ahead.
Last year Selby Council’s planning committee rejected plans for the scheme to build five wind turbines, each over 400ft, in the village of Cliffe.
But following an appeal hearing, a planning inspector has overturned the decision and ruled the project should be given the go-ahead.
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, who has campaigned against large wind farms in the district, said: “I am extremely disappointed and saddened that the inspector has failed to take into account the views of local residents and that he has ridden roughshod over the decision by Selby District Council to refuse the application.
“It is a very bad day for local residents and for the consumers who pick up the bill for these monstrosities.”
Tony Wray, who lives near the site, said: “This is this is indeed a very sad day for the residents in the Selby area, and for others like me who live close to this wind farm.”
Originally council officers had recommended the development at Cleek Hall, in Turnham Lane, be approved in line with its renewable energy benefits.
However, the council’s planning committee went against the recommendations and threw the application out, saying the turbines would have an “unacceptable” visual impact on the surrounding countryside.
However, the planning inspector, has overturned the decision. He accepts the wind farm will have an impact on the landscape but argues it is an ordinary landscape that: “has capacity to absorb a wind farm of the scale proposed.” He says any perceived harm would be reversible as it is intended that the wind farm would be removed after 25 years.
Developers Hallam Land Management say the scheme will provide a boost for the local economy. The wind farm is expected to power between 4,905 and 5,887 homes.