Wind turbine plans for Almscliffe Crag met with public outrage

Picture Shows people enjoying the warm weather and sunshine high up on Almscliffe Crag in North Yorkshire. Ian Hinchliffe /
Picture Shows people enjoying the warm weather and sunshine high up on Almscliffe Crag in North Yorkshire. Ian Hinchliffe /

Plans for two ‘massive’ wind turbines near the iconic Almscliffe Crag have generated heavy criticism from concerned action groups and residents.

Wind turbine specialists DC21 submitted a planning application to Harrogate Borough Council in April for two 48m turbines on agricultural land belonging to High Moor Farm.

Despite DC21 classifying the turbines as ‘small scale’, action groups such as Save the Dales have raised concern about their size and the impact of their location on highly elevated ground.

Founder of the campaign group, Gerry Smith, argued that the turbines will appear to be ‘mounted’ on the Crag itself, thus spoiling the focal point from Harewood House.

Despite DC21 arguing the site falls outside of any area of natural beauty, Mr Smith believes the installation of the turbines will be a ‘desecration’ of part of the Yorkshire Dales.

He said: “This area is regarded as being very much part of the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Let nobody be under any misunderstanding that these turbines are anything other than a commercial wind farm.

“Their size is considerably greater than what one normally associates with ‘farm’ turbines - these will be massive.

“Nobody should standby and allow the disgraceful desecration of a valued and treasured area, for nothing other than the boosting the bank balances of those behind it.”

Mr Smith also accused DC21 of omitting any mention of the nearby Almscliffe Crag in their planning application.

However, the company claims that not only will the wind turbines enable the dairy farm to continue operating but stated that precedent has already been set by the presence of communication masts there.

Charles Ashton, project manager for the application, said: “It’s not in the area of natural beauty and the nearest point is 3 and a half km from this so it’s not a protected area.

“This area has already had precedent set with a huge connection mast there so the turbines will be in between them.

“Crag might be a popular tourist attraction but it’s not protected, it’s nothing, it holds as much as weight as a rock in your back garden.

“The county needs to play its role in tackling the ongoing issue of climate change, reducing the carbon dioxide emissions and supporting the livelihood of struggling local farm businesses.”

Local residents have already made their anger over the application heard with more than 120 objections on Harrogate’s planning portal.

Harewood Estate has also submitted an objection stating that the turbines would ‘badly effect’ the views and features of the iconic landscape which have been portrayed in historical watercolours.