HESLERTON WIND FARM ACTION GROUP
PRESS RELEASE Friday 18th May 2012
National Air Traffic Services (NATS) has become the latest organisation to lodge a formal objection to the proposed East Heslerton Wind Farm near Malton, North Yorkshire. The UK’s most senior airspace management body wrote a strongly worded letter to Ryedale District Council on 3 May warning of ‘serious safety risks for air traffic’, which is available via the Council’s website.
NATS joins an unprecedented list of objectors to the project’s 10 turbines of 126 metres (413 feet),which now includes English Heritage, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Natural England, Ministry of Defence, North York Moors National Park Authority, Scarborough Borough Council and British Horse Society – and local people represented by the Heslerton Wind Farm Action Group (HWFAG).
Revised plans submitted on 1 May by developer RWE npower renewables to Ryedale District Council, fail to adequately address the extent of these objections, repeatedly infringe the Ryedale Local Plan, continue to misrepresent local support and demonstrate a clear disregard for the location’s status as an Area of High Landscape Value - according to HWAG. Ryedale District Council’s consultation period for the revised proposal ends on 25 May.
“The developer’s revised plans reveal a contempt not only of our local environment and heritage assets, but also for the opinions of expert bodies seeking to halt this ill-conceived project. People should be under no illusion that RWE npower renewables are seeking to build an industrial scale wind farm. These turbines will be situated on some of the highest points of the Yorkshire Wolds and will tower over the Vale of Pickering at a combined height of over 1,000 feet in places,” said Paul Stephens, a local farmer and HWAG spokesman.
New information revealed in the revised plans, includes confirmation that the site will be decommissioned in 25 years and also that pylons may be used to carry cables to connect the site to the national grid at Yedingham running through East Heslerton - the original plan stated that cables would be laid underground. HWAG estimates that 107 wind turbines are currently built or seeking planning permission in the vicinity and believes the developer has glossed over the planning requirement to show there is not an excessive cumulative impact alongside similar projects.
Over 90% of neighbouring Parish Councils oppose the scheme, according to correspondence made available on Ryedale District Council’s website. This figure contrasts with a purported ‘65% local approval’ claimed by the developer, relating to a public exhibition last year attended by only 200 people. Ryedale District Council is also aware that the activities of Yes2Wind, a commercial lobbying group engaged by RWE, have further distorted that actual level of local support for the project.
“The price of this environmental contamination is too high, given the relatively short period of 25 years until decommissioning. The project will provide no long term local employment and there is growing scepticism internationally about the case for wind power. We sincerely hope Ryedale District Council listens to overwhelming local opinion and rejects this proposal,” said Paul Stephens.
PRESS RELEASE Wednesday 1 June 2011
SCARBOROUGH COUNCIL WARNS ON IMPACT OF WIND FARM + 93% OF VILLAGES OBJECT
Scarborough Borough Council has raised concerns about the photography used in RWE npower
renewables’ application to build ten 126 metre (413 ft) wind turbines along the Wolds escarpment,
warning it fails to demonstrate that the site will not dominate the surrounding landscape.
The Council’s planning department has written to Ryedale District Council highlighting flaws in the
developer’s assessment of the visual and cumulative impact of the proposed wind farm, relating to
inadequate photomontage as well as omission of key viewpoints.
“This Council considers that the visual and cumulative impact on the landscape of the Wolds, the
Wolds Escarpment, the Vale of Pickering and the southern section of the North Yorkshire Moors
have not been adequately assessed, particularly as outlined in this report from the use of wintertime
photographs only and from omission of key viewpoints,” writes Scarborough Borough Council.
“In the absence of photomontages from the above locations and full cumulative impact assessments
the applicants have not adequately demonstrated that the proposals would not dominate the
landscape and not be visually detrimental to both the surrounding area and wider landscape.”
Local farmer Paul Stephens of Heslerton Wind Farm Action Group is not surprised by the
recommendations of the report undertaken by Scarborough Borough Council.
“We have always contested RWE npower renewables’ misleading and unsubstantiated claim that
this development will have ‘minimal environmental and social impacts and is sympathetic to the
surrounding area’. The photography used in their application was taken in the snow and provides no
depth of field or perspective – it is virtually impossible to distinguish the prominence of the Wolds as
a major landscape feature,” said Mr Stephens.
A raft of significant national consultee bodies have objected to the scheme in recent weeks including
the Ministry of Defence, English Heritage, Natural England, Campaign to Protect Rural England and
the British Horse Society.
93% of neighbouring Parish Councils also oppose the scheme, according to Ryedale District Council’s
website. This figure contrasts with ‘65% local approval’ still claimed by the developer, but which
relates to a public exhibition held last year and attended by only 200 people. Sherburn village has
also submitted a petition signed by 61 objectors, ahead of tomorrow’s consultation deadline.
“This proposal is riddled with planning infringements and economies of truth, not least the basic
false premise concerning the energy generating power of wind. We hope Ryedale District Council is
mindful of its responsibility to act in the best interests of this area and that national Government
reverses its mistaken policy for wind power – before any more of our countryside is needlessly
sacrificed,” said Mr Stephens.
Paul Stephens T: 01944 738281