Campaigners relieved as turbine plan is thrown out

Ilkley Gazette: The former High Royds psychiatric hospital. Campaigners say the new turbine would have been twice the height of the former hospital's clock tower The former High Royds psychiatric hospital. Campaigners say the new turbine would have been twice the height of the former hospital's clock tower

An application to build a 74-metre wind turbine on green belt behind High Royds has been rejected.

Now the group, which was set up to fight the proposal, has thanked everyone who joined their struggle.

Menston Against Wind Turbines was formed to oppose the siting of the turbine on land north of Hawksworth Quarry.

Campaigners said the proposed turbine would have been twice the height of High Royds Clock Tower and the Chelker Reservoir turbines, and would have towered over the treetops.

This week they thanked planners who turned the application down on grounds including conflict with Green Belt control, and its detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the area.

Anne Barker and Jill Bateson, from the campaign group, said: “We thank the Leeds planners for listening to our concerns and objections and for refusing to spoil the beautiful landscape we all love and cherish.”

They also stressed their gratitude for the support they had received from residents, visitors, councillors and MPs, as well as WARD, Aireborough Forum and Menston parish Council.

In its decision Leeds City Council says: “The Local Planning Authority considers that the landscape sensitivity of this Special Landscape Area is such that the turbine would have a seriously detrimental effect on its character and appearance due to the proposals scale, design and prominent location.

“Those using the public rights of way would observe a major alteration that is entirely uncharacteristic of the landscape.”

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth, who had spoken out against the proposal, welcomed the decision but said he was concerned that it had taken so long.

He stressed he wasn’t opposed to wind turbines per se but only when they were close to residential settlements and affected people’s lives.

“I am pleased that the council made the right decision on that front,” he said. “It has taken a long time to make this decision but we have got the right result in the end.”

In a submission to Leeds City Council the scheme’s agents AAH Planning Consultants said: “This proposal would directly accord with the principles behind the White Paper and the Renewable Energy Directive and would enable a local energy supply which would be entirely decentralised.”

The submission added: “The features of interest within the landscape which contribute most significantly to its character would remain unaffected.”

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