As published in The Hull Daily Mail:
‘We won’t let this rest. We don’t want turbine’;
E YORKS: Residents ready to put case to public inquiry if necessary
In Short Plans for a huge wind turbine overlooking Willerby and Kirk Ella have been rejected.
It was earmarked for a landfill site close to the main A164 road.
CAMPAIGNERS say they are prepared for a long fight against plans for a wind turbine on a hill overlooking Willerby.
An application to install the 87m-high turbine at a landfill site in Albion Lane was unanimously refused by East Riding councillors yesterday.
Developers Lantanier Ireland Ltd now have the option of appealing against the decision.
Several other wind turbine schemes rejected by councillors in recent months have been approved on appeal.
But Councillor Mike Whitehead, who represents Willerby and Kirk Ella, said residents were ready to put their case to a public inquiry if necessary. “As a community, we are not going to let this rest. We do not want this wind turbine,” he said.
“We want to send a strong message to the applicant and the landowner that if they do decide to go to appeal, we want any inquiry to be held in public because I think there will be hundreds of people will want to speak against this.”
A total of 450 letters of objection from residents and businesses were submitted to the committee, along with a 416-name petition.
Among them was Kirk Ella-based celebrity hairdresser Mark Hill, who claimed the proposed turbine would be a blot on the landscape.
Speaking at yesterday’s planning committee meeting, Cllr Whitehead said the single turbine would dominate the surrounding area because it was intended to stand on top of a 60m hill.
“From a visual point of view, this would the largest wind turbine in the East Riding, directly affecting the greatest number of people,” he said.
Paul Tunstall, who spoke on behalf of a residents’ group formed to fight the scheme, said: “The visual impact is patently unacceptable. “It is close to a main arterial road and roundabout and it will tower over communities at the height of 20 double-decker buses.
“It’s the wrong development in the wrong place.”
The company did not send any representative to speak in support of its application at yesterday’s meeting.
Campaigners against the scheme have also questioned who exactly is behind the proposal, as Lantanier Ireland Ltd is not registered in either the UK or Ireland.
The application was submitted on behalf of Lantanier Ireland Ltd by a planning consultancy.
Another planning agent is also identified to be associated with the scheme in documents submitted to East Riding Council.
Their concerns have been shared by Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis, who this week wrote to local government minister Kris Hopkins over the issue.
In a letter, Mr Davis said he was worried over where subsidy payments might end up if it was not clear who was actually behind the Willerby wind turbine plan should it get the go-ahead.
“It is important to establish the real people behind this wind farm investment before providing them with any taxpayers’ money,” he said.
“It is important that people who receive subsidies pay taxes.”
Fears over contamination of fresh water supplies
The potential impact on the setting of historic Skidby Mill was the main reason why councillors kicked out the Willerby wind turbine plan.
But some voiced fears over possible contamination of fresh water supplies to Hull as a result of piling work to secure the turbine in place.
Councillor Tony Galbraith said residents were right to be concerned over a potential breach in a clay membrane protecting a large underground aquifer deep beneath the landfill site in Albion Lane, where the development was planned.
He questioned reassurances by the Environment Agency over the issue.
“The Environment Agency says the necessary piling work can be done but that it is debatable,” he said.
Councillor Bryan Pearson said residents were firmly against the turbine scheme.