A PLAN to erect a wind turbine on the outskirts of Guisborough has narrowly been approved despite strong opposition from local residents.
Councillors heard how the tips of the singular turbine, measuring 51m high, will be higher than nearby landmark Eston Nab, once it is build on land at Court Green Farm, Wilton Lane, near the town.
Concern had been raised that the turbine would be a blot on the landscape and could open the floodgates for more applications in the east Cleveland area.
Ward councillor Bill Suthers called on members of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s regulatory committee to reject the proposal and protect the area’s scenic beauty.
He said: “The turbine will be a blight on the iconic view from Clay Bank towards Roseberry Topping, which some would view as the best view in Yorkshire. There will be a detrimental impact from this development on the embryonic tourism industry around Guisborough and the ambition to be regarded as the Northern Gateway to the North York Moors.
“We should reject this proposal as the impact will be too big.”
Concern was raised that approving the application could result in a glut of similar schemes in the area but the council’s regeneration services manager, Adrian Miller, reassured objectors that would not be the case.
He said: “This will not set a precedent for any other applications that will go before the committee as everyone is judged on its own merits.”
Applicant Josh Pollock told the committee that consultation had taken place with residents and the council which had resulted in the height of the original mast being lowered and helped to identify the location.
He said: “We have consulted widely and the National Park has not objected to the scheme because they don’t feel it will be detrimental to the park.”
Councillor Peter Spencer called for the application to be rejected to protect the environment.
He said: “This area is very important to the people of Guisborough and to the people of Redcar and Cleveland and all those who visit knows or cares about the area. I feel we should be protecting this area for future generations.”
He formerly proposed to reject the application and was seconded by Councillor Mary Lanigan.
However, Councillor Brenda Forster recommended approving the application as she could not see any valid planning reason for refusing the scheme. Her proposal was seconded by Councillor Peter Dunlop.
The application was passed by six votes to five in favour of approval.