DEFENCE and heritage experts have joined residents and community groups in opposing plans for a new wind farm in North Yorkshire.

An application for ten turbines at East Heslerton, between Malton and Scarborough, which could provide the annual electricity needs of 10,000 homes is expected to be decided on by Ryedale District Council today.

Objections to the plans, which have been submitted by RWE npower renewables, have been lodged by residents, English Heritage, and the Ministry of Defence. There have also been more than 100 supportive statements.

A letter from Dr Diane Green, representing English Heritage, said: “We recommend your council weighs the harm against the benefits of the proposal and considers the justification for it.

“The Vale of Pickering is significant for the diversity and continuity of its heritage assets. We consider the proposed wind farm would alter the way the landscape is experienced and read.”

The Ministry of Defence has also looked at the plans and registered its objection to the proposed turbines, which would have a maximumu height of 126 metres to the blade tip, because they could interfere with air traffic control radar.

In a letter to the council, the MoD said: “The turbines will be 44.7km from, in line of sight to, and will cause unacceptable interference to, the air traffic control radar at RAF Linton-on- Ouse.

“These effects include the desensitisation of radar in the vicinity of the turbines and the creation of ‘false’ aircraft returns which air traffic controllers must treat as real.”

Last year, about 200 people attended a public consultation about the proposal. RWE npower renewables said the majority of feedback had been supportive.

A survey carried out by Heslerton Parish Council found opinion was split.

So far, 200 members of the public have commented on the planning application, with 94 objections to the plans, 105 supportive statements, and one neutral comment.

The applicants say the wind farm could produce enough renewable electricity to meet the average annual electricity needs of 9,700 homes.

As previously reported, Martin Wood, RWE npower’s renewables developer, believes such a wind farm would play a vital part in the ongoing effort to tackle climate change.

He also said studies and public consultation feedback had enabled the wind farm design to “have minimal environmental and social impacts” while being sympathetic to the surrounding area.