Councillors vote unanimously to turn down application

An application to build a wind turbine on rural land at High Eldwick, near Bingley, was rejected today.

Councillors said the plans for the site at Ramsgill, off Otley Road, lacked details on how the structure would affect racehorses which were trained nearby.

The proposals had been recommended for approval by Bradford planning officers. The submission asked for permission to install a device which, including the turbine blades, would be 26.5 metres high.

The application faced opposition in the form of 13 objection letters, citing fears about the impact on the horses which use an adjoining training area. Opponents also expressed concern about the visual effect of the turbine.

The application was considered at a meeting of Keighley & Shipley Area Planning Panel this morning.

Planning officer Martyn Burke said a previous proposal to build a 15-metre wind turbine on this same site was turned down in October 2009. But he said that following an appeal a Government inspector granted permission the following year. The 15-metre turbine was never built.

Mr Burke said the permission given on appeal, along with the need for sources of renewable energy, supported the argument in favour of the latest application.

Responding to concern about the racehorses, his written report stated: “In assessing the previous wind turbine the inspector did not consider that this would represent reason for refusal, as no convincing evidence had been put forward that turbines would adversely affect horses.”

But Jo Steel, speaking on behalf of objectors, said: “This turbine will be 47 per cent higher than what was earlier allowed for this field.

“There is a ‘gallop’ nearby used by racing horses six days a week throughout the year. Horses can be easily spooked.”

Panel chairman Councillor Doreen Lee said she did not feel she had enough information on what she described as an “industrial” size turbine.

The panel voted unanimously to refuse the application.

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