Major wind farm plan scaled back by a third
A MAJOR wind farm has been scaled back after fears turbines would ruin "East Yorkshire's most important historic country house".
Wind Prospect had hoped to build nine turbines at Thorn- holme Field, near Bridlington.
But English Heritage said the development would have a damaging impact on Burton Agnes Hall, an early 17th- century stately home.
The firm has now agreed to reduce the number of turbines planned to six.
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In a letter to planning officers at East Riding Council, English Heritage said: "The development would have a harmful impact on the settings and on the significance of several designated heritage assets.
"In the case of Burton Agnes Hall, the resulting harm to heritage significance would be substantial.
"The wind farm as a whole can be considered to be harmful to the significance of the affected heritage assets."
Wind Prospect has now changed its plans in an effort to get around the objections.
Project manager Catherine Taggart said: "We have adapted the project to make it more suitable to all parties while retaining a wind farm that could make a significant contribution to renewable energy generation."
"This is exactly why the consultation process exists – so we can listen to concerns and comments and try to accommodate them into our plans."
Hundreds of neighbours have written to planners with their views.
Many sent in a standard letter template expressing their support.
It said: "Wind farms in the UK are an essential part of our efforts to combat climate change.
"Wind power must and will play a vital part in our energy mix.
"The wind farm would not affect my enjoyment of living in or visiting the area."
These responses were collected by canvassers on the streets of Bridlington and nearby villages. Campaigners say they do not represent the views of families who would have to live next door to the turbines.
George Hornsey lives in Haisthorpe, close to the planned wind farm, and has campaigned against it.
He said: "All canvassing does is abuse the planning system.
"We've created quite a large objection document and covered each one of our concerns and we're told this will only count as one objection.
"But for these people who go out on the streets, every signature counts as a letter in support and negates everything we've done. I think it's totally wrong."
A spokesman for Wind Prospect said: "Renewable energy and, in particular, wind is well supported in the UK but it is well documented those in support tend not to be as vocal."
He said canvassers did not just visit Bridlington.
The spokesman said: "Given this is the closest destination town to Thornholme, it made sense there would be more responses by visiting Bridlington.
"The responses also came from a spread of residents in the surrounding area including Thornholme, Kilham and Burton Agnes.
"To suggest we have abused the consultation process is inflammatory and completely untrue."
Wind Prospects has been consulting since 2010 and has sent leaflets to more than 2,000 households.
Mr Hornsey said he would fight six turbines just as vigorously as nine.
He said: "I don't think it makes a lot of difference.
"It's still an intrusion onto the Wolds."
To view the planning application, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk/newpublicaccess and search for 11/03999/STPLFE.