Driffield’s three East Riding of Yorkshire Council Councillors have written to RWE, the company behind the Cottam wind farm investigations, asking them to re-think their proposals and to draw up a plan showing how they will enhance the landscape.
The company is investigating the potential for a wind farm on the site of the former Cottam Airfield.
Studies at the site are currently at an early stage, but initial plans consist of up to 10 turbines - each with a maximum height of 116 metres from base to tip.
Coun Symon Fraser said: “The most commented about aspect of a proposed wind farm and the greatest number of concerns expressed by local residents was on the issue of landscape and visual impact. We share these concerns.
“As Ward Councillors for Driffield and Rural we are asking RWE to bring forward a comprehensive assessment of the landscape impacts of any progressed proposals.”
Coun Barbara Hall added: “In particular, we would contend that the developer should be bringing forward proposals to show how any proposed development will enhance the landscape. We consider that a viability appraisal which only looks narrowly at one aspect of a scheme would be failing to properly assess the wider viability and impacts of a proposal.”
Coun Felicity Temple said: “Following on from my colleagues’ comments, we also ask that RWE assess the possibility and viability of an extensive solar voltaic scheme on this same site as an alternative to wind turbines.
“Our opinion is that a solar scheme would cause a much reduced environmental, landscape and visual impact on the important visual integrity of the Wolds and would help address some of the concerns of local residents and visitors.”
Councillor Fraser said: “The developers have erected an anemometer to assess the wind conditions on the site. If they do only this then they are clearly failing to really look at the wider impacts of their proposals and this fails to comprehensively demonstrate how they will safeguard the landscape, currently they are only looking at the rewards without considering the wider costs.”
RWE explained on its website: “We are currently still in the early stages of a design for the proposed wind farm, but, as responsible developers, we understand the value of local input and will consult extensively with the communities around the site before any wind farm planning application is progressed.
Getting involved in the communities in which we operate is key to the success of our business.
Since 2011, we’ve invested £2.7 million into the communities we operate within across the UK.
As part of the proposals for the proposed Cottam Airfield Wind Farm, we are proposing a community investment fund of £5,000 per installed MW, which will be managed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council with input from local residents.
We will be looking to engage with local people to decide how the community investment fund could be best used for local benefit and how it should be managed.”