This week we saw a victory for local democracy as the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Planning Committee supported 98% of Spaldington residents and threw out the two windfarm applications – one at each side of the village.
We had the Parish Councils of Spaldington, HOSM, Bubwith, Foggathorpe, Gilberdyke, Eastrington, Wressle, and Howden Town Council - representing some 13,755 local residents all objecting to the applications, we also had local MP David Davis and MEP Godfrey Bloom speaking out against the applications.
The East Riding is already carrying more than its fair share of the country’s EU and National renewable energy targets in those that have been approved. The capacity of the East Riding to accept more wind farms is perhaps open to question – BUT what is clear is that this particular area - within a 12 ½ mile radius of Spaldington, that forms the gateway to the East Riding, will be saturated by the 90 wind turbines that are either constructed, or are already approved and waiting to be are built. What we will see is effect a windfarm landscape without adding more.
As a member of the Planning Committee, I can’t recall considering any like the two applications facing the village. It was not just about the proximity of 2 windfarms – it was about Spaldington being at the centre of a large windfarm, with residents living in the middle of 12 of the biggest on-shore wind turbines in the UK. We had never seen applications were so many properties would have been within 1000m – 56 houses, and unbelievably 24 of which would have been within 775m.
For me Spaldington residents have suffered enough, and continue to suffer from the foulest smells as a result of agricultural composting, but now at least they will not be faced with being at the centre of a large-scale windfarm – I hope the decision we made will give a little respite to the community by not compounding their suffering with a noisy windfarm.
I spoke at length and moved refusal for both applications for the following reasons
1. Cumulative impact of both the applications and the other 90 wind turbines that are either operational or approved within a 12 ½ mile radius of the site.
2. Overbearing and detrimental impact on the lives of residents living in the properties falling within 1,000m of the proposed site.
Fortunately the majority of the planning Committee agreed.
The applicants can of course appeal the decision, as we have seen with many windfarm applications in the East Riding, so it may be that residents have been victorious in this battle but the war is still to be won.
If it is the case that the applicants do decide to appeal the decisions, it is clear they will have one hell of a battle - with a formidable residents group to lead the fight. I will no longer be shackled by the Councillors ‘Code of Conduct’ (as I have prior to the planning committee meeting) - therefore please be assured that if the decisions are appealed I will do my utmost to ensure that ultimate victory will be with Spaldington residents, and those living in the neighbouring communities.
(Please see images below produced by Robert Hare showing showing sections of the views from each end of the village now and also with the proposed wind turbines superimposed as per the industry standards)