Inquiry holds fate of Bridlington Bay wind farm plan
A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build nine giant wind turbines overlooking Bridlington Bay will be decided by an inquiry.
TCI Renewables has appealed to the Secretary of State after East Riding Council failed to determine the application within the required eight-week deadline.
The company wants to install nine 420ft turbines at Auburn Farm in Fraisthorpe.
Objectors say it would be a blight on Bridlington Bay.
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The proposal was recommended for refusal by East Riding Council planning officers but the applicant would not have known that before launching its appeal.
East Riding Council's head of planning Peter Ashcroft said: "We asked for further information from the applicants and were in the process of considering that information. They appealed, which they have a right to do.
"They have not told us why they have done it."
Bridlington Town Hall has been booked from November 27 to December 5 for the public inquiry, which will be chaired by an independent inspector from the Government Planning Inspectorate.
It means Thursday's East Riding Council planning meeting will discuss the proposal but will not be able to decide on it.
Officers said the plan should have been refused because the turbines would spoil the landscape. If councillors agree with that assessment their decision will form part of the council's case at the planning inquiry.
No one from TCI Renewables has been available to discuss the public inquiry but the initial application says national planning policy requires local authorities to be positive towards renewable energy generation.
It says the plan would add to renewable energy generation and help address climate change.
But the planning application resulted in 365 letters of objection from residents.
They include John Elsom who lives on the seafront at Bridlington.
He said: "These turbines would overlook Bridlington Bay and 'uglify' the scenery.
"We've already got 12 turbines in Lissett. I'm speaking on behalf of the people of Bridlington.
"Unfortunately it seems the wind farm companies can put them wherever they wish and they seem to find East Yorkshire quite good."
Mr Elsom was unsure whether having the application determined by a public inquiry rather than by East Riding Council planning committee would help, or hinder, his wish to see the plan refused.
But it appears that, had the decision been in the hands of East Riding, it would have been set for refusal.
Mr Ashcroft said: "The recommendation by officers was to refuse it. The committee members don't always follow recommendation. But the committee have refused a number of wind farm applications."
Visit www.eastriding.gov. uk/newpublicaccess/applic ation and enter the reference 12/00640/STPLFE to view full details of the Fraisthorpe planning application.