Hunmanby wind farm test mast application approved on appeal

September 19, 2011 | Renewables News

Plans for a test wind mast on the site of a proposed new wind farm to the south west of Hunmanby have been approved on appeal after originally being rejected by Scarborough Borough Council.

Banks Renewables is developing proposals for the South Dale development, which would be situated on agricultural land to the west of the village, and applied for permission for a test mast to be erected on site earlier this year, in order to gather wind data.

Despite Scarborough Borough Council’s officers recommending the original application for approval, it was refused by the council’s planning committee in June.

But now, an independent inspector has upheld Banks’ appeal against this decision, and has granted permission for an 80m mast to be erected on the South Dale site for a period of up to three years.

The inspector felt that the impact of the mast upon the character and appearance of the area would be limited and was offset by the strong support in national planning policies for the development of renewable energy.

Banks is looking to make an investment of around £35m in the South Dale wind farm, with employment opportunities being created on site during the development and construction phases of the scheme, should it be approved.  Local firms would be able to tender for contracts in the region of £6m.

The company is now arranging for the test mast to be erected in the next few weeks.

Detailed proposals for the full scheme are still in development, but it could encompass up to 14 turbines with a maximum tip height of 145m, and would have an installed capacity of up to 46.7MW, which would be enough to power approximately 26,500 homes.

Banks is now involved in consultations with Scarborough Borough Council and the local community over the planning issues involved in the development prior to finalising proposals for the number of turbines and their height which will be included in a planning application which the company hope to have ready to submit around the end of 2011.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, says: “We felt that we had very strong grounds for appeal against the Council’s decision to reject our test mast application, and are naturally very pleased that the Planning Inspector has agreed with our submissions.

“The South Dale scheme would represent a significant capital investment by Banks and could produce enough renewable energy to meet the annual power requirements of approximately 26,500 homes. 

“Employment and commercial opportunities for local firms will be created in the construction phase of the scheme, and in addition to this, the community benefits fund that would run alongside it would provide invaluable funding for local volunteer groups and good causes, thus significantly enhancing the community in which it is based.

“We will continue to work closely with local communities over the development of the South Dale project as it progresses, and hope to build on the support we have already received from significant numbers of local people who recognise the environmental, investment, employment and community benefits it will bring to the area.”

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