Rudston wind turbine plan set to be refused
A WIND turbine planned for an East Riding beauty spot has been recommended for refusal.
Developers want to build a turbine measuring almost 70m in Rudston, near Bridlington.
The village was the birthplace of author Winifred Holtby and is home to the Rudston Monolith, the UK's tallest standing stone.
But East Riding Council's planning officers have said the generator should not be approved after the Ministry of Defence (MOD) warned it could interfere with its radar.
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In a report for councillors, they said: "The proposed wind turbine would cause unacceptable interference to the radar.
"The benefits of generating green energy do not outweigh the significant harm the proposed wind turbine will have in securing a safe RAF Air Defence Radar Service."
Conservation group English Heritage also sent a lengthy letter to planners.
It said the monolith, which dates from 1600BC, was "a nationally important designated heritage asset and one of the best-known prehistoric monuments in the country".
A spokesman for English Heritage said: "We believe development would have a potentially harmful impact on the setting and significance of several designated heritage assets in the area, in particular Rudston parish church and the Rudston Monolith."
But the group's concerns were discounted by planning officers.
They only recommended the turbine for refusal because of the MoD's letter – not because of its possible impact on the landscape.
David Hinde, who campaigns against wind turbines in the East Riding, said this was not good enough.
He said: "They should have given a great weight to English Heritage and the very special landscape this application sits within.
"English Heritage has laid out all the reasons why the council should not have given this an OK from the landscape and heritage side."
The RAF is hoping to upgrade its radar at Staxton Wold, near Bridlington, by September next year.
Its new system should be more compatible with turbines.
This would remove the MoD objection at Rudston – and could allow a turbine to be built there in future.
Mr Hinde said: "The MoD is clearly taking a very robust attitude to defending their communications airspace.
"But should the new radar at Staxton Wold be completed and checked, the threat is there.
"These very large farm turbines are not about green energy – they're about greed energy."
Many families living close to the turbine site have also objected.
More than 140 people have written to the council opposing it. They are worried it could have an impact on red kites and barn owls in the area and feel views across the countryside would be spoilt.
Peter Ayling of the Ramblers' Association, told planners the turbine would damage the area's beauty and blight views of "the village of Rudston and its unique standing stone."
Rudston Parish Council and Bridlington Civic Society both oppose the development.
Society secretary Maureen Bell said: "We're going to continue to respond to all of the large-scale wind turbine applications.
Four villagers told planning officers they supported the turbine.
The application will be discussed by councillors at a planning committee meeting tomorrow afternoon.