PLANS to build three 328ft (100m) high wind turbines at Brightenber Hill, near Gargrave, have been thrown out by the Secretary of State.

The plans by EnergieKontor to build on open farmland near Stainton Hall were rejected by Craven District Council and were the subject of two appeals to the Planning Inspectorate.

The scheme has now been dismissed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government after being 'called in' late last year.

Chris Emmett, spokesman for Friends of Craven Landscape, said: “Friends of Craven Landscape are delighted that the Secretary of State for Communities has listened to the people most affected by the proposed wind farm at Brightenber Hill.

"Over the last eight years, the local planning committee has refused planning permission twice, it has been turned down three times on appeal and now the Secretary of State for Communities has said no. We hope Energiekontor will finally realise that Brightenber Hill is the wrong place to build a wind farm.”

Chairman of Craven District Council's Planning Committee, Cllr Richard Welch, welcomed the decision.

"It is great news that the Secretary of State has decided to uphold the decision of the council’s Planning Committee to refuse planning permission.

"The council refused the application in September 2012, but since then the determination of the application has been in the hands of the Planning Inspectorate and Secretary of State. I am sure that there are many delighted local residents who have had to suffer an incredibly long wait to find out if their homes and surrounding countryside were to be blighted by the turbines."

Skipton MP Julian Smith, who has always opposed the scheme, said: “I am delighted by the decision to reject the appeal.  I pay tribute to the many people in my constituency who have campaigned so hard for so long on this issue.

I hope there is now a line drawn under this issue and that people can move on knowing that the beautiful land is protected.”