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Meeting to debate Brightenber Hill wind farm plan
8:00am Monday 13th August 2012 in News
Plans to build a wind farm at Brightenber Hill, near Gargrave , will be decided at a special meeting of Craven District Council.
Because of the huge level of public interest, the scheme for three 100m (328ft) high turbines will be thrashed out at a meeting of the council’s planning committee on Monday, September 3.
And, instead of the council offices in Skipton , the meeting will be held at Gargrave Village Hall, after councillors visit the site of the proposed turbines in the morning.
It will be the second attempt by Energiekontor UK to build at Brightenber Hill, used as grazing land and close to a well used bridleway.
The company’s first planning application for five turbines four years ago was rejected by the council and on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
Energiekontor says it has addressed the objections of the government inspector, has removed two turbines closest to Ash Tree Farm and is confident of success.
However, objectors to the scheme say it will change the face of the landscape, bring disruption to the narrow road needed to access the site and upset walkers and horse riders using the bridlepath and nearby Craven Country Ride, visited by thousands of people every year.
So far, around 195 people have written individual letters of objection and more than 1,000 have signed a petition opposing the scheme.
Around 70 people have written or emailed in support, with a further 150 duplicate support emails.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park has objected to the scheme which it says although not in the national park, would have an impact.
“It would have a serious harmful impact on the landscape setting of the national park and the quality of experience currently available to recreational users of the national park,” said Richard Graham, the national park’s head of development management, in a letter to the council.
He said that the national park’s planning committee felt the application was contrary to the National Planning Policy Framework which sought to conserve the beauty of national parks.
He added that it was believed by members that images of the proposed development were “potentially misleading and could serve to underestimate the visual impact of the proposed turbines”.
“The visualisations showing views from the national park were all taken on days with a sunny, hazy, sky with significant white cloud cover. The visual prominence of three white turbines against such a backdrop is clearly less than would have been the case against a darker sky and landscape,” said Mr Graham.
The planning meeting at Gargrave Village Hall is due to start at 2pm.