CONTROVERSIAL plans for a wind farm on the edge of York have been mothballed, 19 months after hitting a hurdle.

Banks Renewables unveiled proposals for the Hagg Wood facility on Copmanthorpe farmland at the start of 2011, but an application for a test wind mast was turned down that June City of York Council despite planning officers recommending it for approval.

Copmanthorpe residents had fiercely opposed the plans, and Banks said the scheme has become “impractical in the immediate future” because of “uncertainty about the local planning regime”.

The company said it had looked at all options for taking the project forward, but the abandonment of York’s Local Development Framework last year meant it could not be sure of future planning policy for renewable energy schemes.

It had said Hagg Wood would create new jobs and fund “community and environmental improvements”, but opponents claimed it was not suitable for the Green Belt and would blight their lives.

Phil Dyke, Banks’ development director, said: “It’s disappointing for us to have to take this decision, but the continuing uncertainty about local renewables planning policy makes it unsustainable for us to continue to take this scheme forward at this time.”

He said once a new planning blueprint for York was in place, Banks would look to “identify possible locations for renewable energy developments” around York.