Turbines held no threat to gliding club safety

An inspector has allowed five 127- metre-high wind turbines on land in North Yorkshire after finding that a nearby gliding club had overstated the risk of gliders being affected by turbulence from the rotating blades.

Since the club operated from an unlicensed airfield for which no formal safeguarding zones had been agreed with the council when the wind farm application was submitted, the inspector reasoned that it could not rely on the regulations applied to licensed airfields. As the farm would be more than four kilometres from the airfield, he saw no justification for refusing permission on air safety grounds.

He also found no merit in the council's claim that plans to convert two large coal-fired power stations in the wider area to biomass operation would meet the whole of the region's 2021 target for renewable energy. These targets were minimum rather than maximum levels, he ruled. In any event, he added, there were uncertainties over the supply of biomass feedstock to the two stations.

Inspector: David Pinner; Inquiry


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