Villagers step up fight against intrusive wind turbine applications

13 November 2012

Residents in Kearby, Kirkby Overblow, Sicklinghall and the surrounding areas are stepping up their fight against plans to construct two giant wind turbines which they claim will blight one of the best views in Yorkshire.

More than 300 objections have been lodged with Harrogate Borough Council in relation to the two potential turbines in the Lower Wharfe Valley Green Belt – an area designated as having Special Landscape Character.

It is claimed the area under threat was one of the favourite views of legendary cricket commentator Brian Johnston. Before each test match at Headingley, he would here to admire the beautiful views.


Protecting This Green & Pleasant Land! (from left) Wind turbine protestors Michael Verity and Dorothy and Malcolm Harris, whose houses will be the closest to the Kearby wind turbine
Protecting This Green & Pleasant Land! (from left) Wind turbine protestors Michael Verity and Dorothy and Malcolm Harris, whose houses will be the closest to the Kearby wind turbine


If planning permission is granted, the tallest of the two, measuring 46m or 153ft – higher than a 15-storey block of flats – will be erected at Sicklinghall. The second, slightly shorter at 34m or 113ft, would stand close to the highest point of the ridge at Kearby Lane, just 150m from the closest house at Kearby.

The campaigners – who have already won the support of Selby MP Nigel Adams and the influential Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) – are holding a public meeting this Thursday (November 15) where they will update supporters about recent activities.

Even though Mr Adams cannot attend, he is sending a representative in his place. The MP, whose constituency covers this area, has written to support the local parish councils in their objections to the turbines.

He is also encouraging residents to “consider these applications carefully and if people wish to object, they should do so as soon as possible”.

Spokesman for the group, Guy Townsend, said:

Residents are fighting to help protect the Lower Wharfe Valley, arguably the most beautiful of the Lower Dales.

This area forms a remarkably well-preserved green wedge between Leeds and Harrogate, and is properly designated as Green Belt.

The huge number of objections already logged on Harrogate Borough Council’s website demonstrate the level of local pride in the fabulous countryside around where we live, and the strong desire to look after it. It’s not a case of ‘not in our backyard’ but fighting to protect our back yard!

If these two applications are given the go ahead then we fear it will open the floodgates to many more. Far from protecting the environment they will do irrevocable harm to it.

Mr Townsend added that in addition to the visual impact, there is the possible threat they would pose to wildlife, in particular the thriving red kite colony, bats and migrating geese.

If anyone wishes to make any representations about the plans, they should Harrogate Borough Council directly quoting the reference numbers:

12/03369/FUL (Paddock House Farm, Sicklinghall)

12/03395/FUL (Lund Head Farm, Kearby)

The email address for public comments is



  1. Maybe the villagers would prefer nuclear power near other peoples houses? It is a ‘as long as I’m alright’ attitude and one that has no place in modern society. Think of the future generations, not just yourselves.

  2. James Atkinson.

    Your argument makes little sense. National Grid tell us that even if we built the worst case wind build of 23GW of onshore (we currently have 5GW) and 51GW of offshore (we currently have a little over 2GW) by 2030, we would still need 30.5GW of new nuclear and 36GW of new gas-fuelled capacity just to keep the lights on. See National Grid, ‘Seven year statement 2011’.

    Wind power generation is not an alternative to base load power generation such as nuclear, it is a parallel system that seldom works when we really need it – check the figures for peak winter load for the past 5 years.

  3. This should be put into perspetive, it will not be a massive turbine. Nothing like the scales you see put up by the big power companies, it’s a small turbine to power a farm and possibly help save the planet a bit by lowering emissions! They’re hardly a blight on the landscape and many of my friends think they enhance a landscape. Windmills have been used on farms for hundreds of years after all!!

  4. I find it disappointing that people have jumped onto the NIMBY bandwagon. We are all surely keen to clean up our planet and as the government has pledged its support to this, then wind turbines are one way of achieving this. Personally I feel that the enormous electricity pylons we see in the countryside seriously blight our beautiful countryside, but I guess we have “all got used to them”. We now need to get used to seeing wind turbines. At least they will not be field to field completely obliterating the landscape.

  5. What is all the fuss about?! Hardly a ‘GIANT’ turbine, a baby compared to the large commercial turbines. Producing green energy to generate additional income for hard working farmers that will help keep their business alive for future generations, why would you want to try and stop this happening? Turbines need planning permission and proximity to houses, wildlife, roads etc is all considered, I very much doubt that it would be allowed 150m from a house, more like 250-300m away.

    What would you rather have…10 or so commercial scale turbines 120m high or a couple of well sited SMALL scale tubines on local farms?

    I am all for protecting our wildlife and countryside, but really, do you think birds fly into these things when they are capeable of migrating to Africa and bats can fly in the pitch black with their super sonar.

    Next time you boil the kettle, turn on a light or watch TV just think about where the electricity comes from. We have to do something as we cannot rely on burning fossil fuels for ever. The wind is free and creates not waste!

    Suggesting that you are not NIMBY’s…that’s exactly what you are. If you had space for a turbine I bet you would have one to help reduce your energy bills! I know I would!

  6. I think Rosemary Nicholson’s comments about the NIMBY approach taken by many of those opposing these proposed wind turbines is spot on. If they had the choice of a huge electricity pylon or a much less visibly imposing wind turbine in the countryside I know what the vast majority of residents would support, its a no-brainer. The simple question is we need to clean up the planet and provide power for the future yet people consistently go out of their way to object without knowing the full facts. If part of the argument against the installation of these turbines is that it would spoil one of the favourite views of the late Brian Johnston then I’m sorry that just highlights the short-sighted and blinkered approach they have. Move with the times or move.

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