A WIND turbine “twice the height of the Angel of the North” would harm the appearance of unspoilt North Yorkshire countryside, say objectors.
Plans for a 250kw turbine, measuring 45 metres to its blade tip, at Israel Farm, Lawkland, have been subm-itted by farmer George Houghton, who hopes to raise money for charity by selling electricity to the National Grid.
Mr Houghton set up a char- itable trust in memory of his late wife, Betty, to fund research into spinal cancer.
According to plans before Craven District Council, the turbine would generate 570,000kw per year, enough to power 160 homes. Net profits would be given to the charity, Betty’s Radio-surgery Cyberknife Trust, with some subsidy income being spent on farm divers-ification.
However, ramblers and parish councils are anxious that a turbine on open pastures in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – and visible from the Yorkshire Dales National Park – would damage the landscape’s sensitive character.
Roland Fudge, who lives closest to the proposed site, near Eldroth, has made a photo montage of how the turbine could affect local views. The picture will be sent to Craven planners by a group of locals opposed to the turbine.
In its response, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s Craven group described the turbine as “an alien structure” that would be “twice the height of the Angel of the North”.
It stated: “The wind turbine would loom high in the open and unspoilt countryside representing an incongr-uous structure that would considerably detract from the natural scenic quality of the surrounding rural area.”
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Paul Bailey, the applicant’s agent, said the plans were ‘unusual’ because their motivation was, poignantly, to raise money for charity and that choosing the right location for a wind turbine was a balancing act, adding: “Our view is, there is moderate impact.”
In a letter, the Craven Ramblers’ Group said it did not wish to “denigrate” the charity, but that the AONB would be “tarnished” by the turbine.
Lawkland and Clapham-cum-Newby parish councils are not supporting the plans. In their response, Lawkland councillors said the turbine would be visible from Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, and would have ‘a severely detrimental impact’ on landscape for miles around.
Craven district councillor Carl Lis has received several emails expressing con-cerns about the turbine, and fellow Ingleton and Clapham councillor David Ireton said: “We do, where possible, need to be supporting renewable energy, but that mustn’t be at the detrimental expense of sensitive landscape.”
Consultation on the plans closes on June 29, and there was no recommendation as yet, said Ian Swain, development control manager at Craven District Council.