THERE was a strong sense of deja vu when a Government planning officer outlined the case for and against the siting of three wind turbines at Brightenber Hill near Gargrave.

The number of people attending the public hearing at the council offices in Skipton was about the same as last time and so were the arguments. But by far, the most heartfelt case against was voiced by the owner of the closest farm to the site.

When Ian Coates had told his 16-year-old daughter that he was off to the inquiry, she had answered it had felt they had been fighting the case all her life, he said. The turbines would be relentless, he said, and would impact on every aspect of their lives.

It was seven years ago when renewable energy company EnergieKontor first submitted a plan for five turbines at the site, and when that plan was rejected on appeal, the family had gone ahead and bought the farm.

The company came back with a scheme for three turbines and having removed the two closest to the Coates' farm, argued there was no reason to turn it down. The scheme was refused by the council and by a Government inspector, but following a legal challenge by EK, that decision was then quashed - effectively taking the whole caboodle back to the start.

The hearing, not a full blown public inquiry this time, took a day with a second day taken up with the inspector visiting the site, nearby properties and listed buildings, and even the possibility of Malham Cove.

Earlier, the inspector - the third now to be involved - had acknowledged the time taken up with the process and promised to listen carefully to all who wanted something to say. What he couldn't say was whether whatever decision is made following the hearing will mark the end of the saga.