PLANS for a wind turbine in a village near York have been blocked over fears it would harm the Green Belt.

City of York Council turned down proposals for a 25-metre mast in Wheldrake, which has drawn objections from residents and one of York’s MPs after they claimed it would damage the appearance of the area.

The application, which went before the authority’s east area planning sub-committee, was put forward by local agricultural contractors H Raley & Son, which said energy costs for the business are currently £4,500 a year and are set to increase. Agents acting for the firm said its owners wanted to move towards generating and selling green energy so they can “remain competitive”.

However, council planners recommended the scheme on Crockey Hill Road for refusal, with opponents of the plans including York Outer MP Julian Sturdy. A report which went before the meeting said Mr Sturdy believed the turbine would have a “serious adverse impact” on nearby homes and the appearance of the surrounding countryside.

Wheldrake Parish Council had also called for the proposals to be turned down, claiming “insufficient information” had been provided about how the turbine would be linked to the National Grid, the noise it would create and how it would be decommissioned when its use has come to an end. Other objectors said it would pave the way for similar masts in the area.

In a statement submitted to the council, chartered surveyors Windle Beech Winthrop, agents for H Raley & Son, said: “The applicant is looking to make a substantial investment in a small-scale wind turbine in order to help create a sustainable future for his farming enterprise, and also make a contribution to generation of electricity from renewable energy.”

Wheldrake councillor George Barton said the decision was a victory for “people power” and the turbine would have been an “unwelcome addition to the local landscape”.

He said: “Let us hope our planners go on listening and continue to make the decisions York residents want, especially when it involves intrusion into our Green Belt.”