MORE than 150 people have objected to an energy firm’s plans for a mast which will help it decide whether to create a wind farm in York.

Banks Renewables has identified land next to the A64 near Copmanthorpe and Askham Bryan as a potential site for up to five 475ft turbines, and is expected to confirm later this year whether it will press ahead with the scheme.

But the wind farm possibility has sparked objections from residents, who say the structures, which would be twice the height of York Minster, will harm the area’s appearance, destroy green space and create too much noise.

Banks has now submitted a planning application to City of York Council for a wind monitoring mast, which would be up to 80m high, to be installed at the Hagg Wood site so the area’s suitability for a wind farm can be assessed.

However, 158 objections to the mast have already been raised.

One opponent, Copmanthorpe resident Andrew Hodgson, said: “It is completely inappropriate for the area, both in scale and purpose.

“This is based on disruption to the local environment, the unnecessary development of the last piece of green land bordering this part of Copmanthorpe and the overall change in the character of the area.

“The wind farm development should not go ahead, therefore there is no need for this mast.”

Another Copmanthorpe objector, David Woodward, said: “The development, if it went ahead, would drastically reduce the quality of life in the village.”

Banks said any scheme would mean money being invested in community initiatives, green energy for 8,300 homes, and the creation of about 30 construction jobs.

Development director Phil Dyke said: “The application for a test wind mast is a standard part of the work we need to enable us to gather wind data on the site and we will keep all parties fully up-to-date with its progress.

“The Hagg Wood project has the potential to make a major contribution to low-carbon energy generation in North Yorkshire and we are confident it is situated in an appropriate location.”

He said Banks would engage with local people.