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EnergieKontor in bid to get Brightenber Hill turbines refusal overturned
11:35am Thursday 8th November 2012 in News
Wind farm company EnergieKontor is taking its fight to build three 100-metre high turbines near Gargrave to appeal.
For the second time, the company has refused to accept the refusal decision of Craven District Council and has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.
Its plan to build at Brightenber Hill, East Marton, was turned down in September by all but one of the council’s planning committee, despite the recommendation of officers.
The grounds for the refusal were the impact on the living conditions of the occupants of nearby Ash Tree Farm.
The three-turbine plan followed an earlier scheme for five on the same site that was also refused permission by the council and upheld on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
EnergieKontor Project manager, Justin Reid, said the company had consistently maintained that it had a ‘planning compliant project’.
“We were encouraged by Craven District Council planning department’s very clear recommendation for planning approval and the expressions of support we received for the planning application, which numbered over 1,000 individuals.
“The project would make a vital contribution to the renewable-energy needs of Craven, particularly important in light of the planning refusal for the Chelker Reservoir wind farm application.”
The appeal is currently earmarked to be dealt with by written representations, with a deadline of January 8 for final comments.
It will mean that an inspector will make a decision based on written evidence instead of the more expensive public hearing, or public inquiry, both of which are held in public.
Skipton MP Julian Smith said he was disappointed that EnergieKontor had decided to appeal and that he would be discussing wind farms in general with the chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate.
“I have consistently said that I do not believe we should cover our stunning countryside with metal so it is disappointing that this appeal means there continues to be no resolution to this long-running planning process,” he said.
“Though this specific appeal is a matter for the Planning Inspectorate, it is important more generally that communities feel their voice is heard when that organisation gets involved. I will be meeting with the Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate later this month to highlight the concerns that have raised with me.
“I also continue to meet with ministers at Westminster, along with many other Conservative MPs, to make the case that we must radically cut the subsidies paid to wind developers.”