Fight goes on against wind mast plans

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Campaigners are urging communities in lower Wensleydale to stand up against plans for a “giant triffid-like” wind mast in the area.

The 50m (164ft) anenometer was proposed for the banks of Thornton Steward reservoir, but after a local outcry Richmondshire Council rejected the plans in June this year. Now landowner Kelda, parent company of Yorkshire Water, is appealing against the decision.

The council received more than 160 individual objections to the original application, amid fears the wind measuring mast could pave the way for a full-scale wind farm on the site, which sits within an Area of Great Landscape Value and close to both Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However, Kelda’s appeal document argues the landscape around the site is not high enough quality to warrant protection, and the mast would be too slender to be visible from a distance or ruin views.

The company also insists that planning officials should decide on the current application for a 36-month temporary structure, and not consider any future applications that could arise from it.

But campaign website SaveWensleydale.co.uk is urging residents to contact the planning inspector and object to the plans.

Gerry Smith lives in nearby Ellingstring and spoke out against the original plans.

He said: “This is a very contentious plan not just because of the intention of wind turbines; the 164ft-high wind-measuring mast would dominate the skyline for miles around in such a beautiful and sensitive area – it will be unacceptable blight in its own right and will tower over Jervaulx Abbey like a giant triffid.”

The deadline for written submissions to the planning inspector is Wednesday, November 30.

l Should the Planning Inspector reverse the council’s decision? Send your views to The Editor, Ripon Gazette, 5a Kirkgate, Ripon, HG4 1PA or email news@ripongazette.co.uk.