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Victory in Dales windfarm battle?

[Monday 01 December 2008]

CAMPAIGNERS battling against plans to build a huge windfarm on the fringes of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are claiming victory after local planners refused planning permission – but it may not end there.

At a meeting of Craven District Council planning committee, the application was rejected by six votes to two, with the chairman abstaining, but this could still be over-ruled by the Government.

The crucial final decision could rest with the German energy company, which wanted to build five huge wind turbines at Bank Newton, neat Skipton, which would have been visible in every direction for some 40 miles, marring some of the views from famous national park beauty spots.

The application had been opposed by hundreds of local people – some 400 turned up to lobby the planning meeting – and many local organisations although the council planning officers had recommended acceptance.

All could now depend on a pledge given by the German firm, EnergieKontor, that it would not appeal against the decision if large numbers of locals opposed it. If the company stands by that pledge, that should be the end of the project.

But should they decide to appeal, it is quite possible that the Giovernment could overturn the planning refusal because it is committed to the building of thousands of wind farms throughout the country.

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