Wind mast fight takes new twist

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PLANS for a controversial wind test mast near Hunmanby have been resurrected.

Government bosses have backed Banks Renewables’ bid for an 80 metre wind monitoring mast on the South Dale development - despite Scarborough Council planning chiefs rejecting the proposal in April.

The mast would act as a key indicator of wind strength in the area ahead of Banks’ impending bid to build up to 14 wind turbines standing 145 metres high on the outskirts of the village.

It could be erected within the next month.

The move means Banks Renewables could submit a full planning application for the wind farm at the end of this year.

The original rejection was met with huge celebrations by campaigners who believed the decision was a real shot in the arm for subsequent applications they argue will prove massively detrimental to the vista of the area.

However, Banks Renewables immediately lodged an appeal, which the Government’s Planning Inspectorate backed on the ground’s that it meets targets national targets on renewable energy and would not detrimentally affect the landscape.

Phil Dyke, Banks Renewables’ development director, said: “We felt that we had very strong grounds for appeal against the council’s decision to reject the application, and are naturally very pleased that the Planning Inspector has agreed.

“The South Dale scheme would represent a significant capital investment by Banks in the local economy at a time when few companies are undertaking such projects, 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.”