Anti-wind farm campaigners are celebrating after two proposed schemes near the Washburn Valley were withdrawn.
Kelda Water Services has announced that it is not proceeding with proposals that would have seen a total of 24 new turbines go up beside Penny Pot Lane and Scargill Reservoir.
Save the Dales had warned that those proposals, along with several others being considered – including one for Lindley Moor – and the existing eight turbines at Knabs Ridge, could have created a “huge” wind farm west of Harrogate.
Spokesman for the campaigning website, Gerry Smith, was delighted at the news but remains wary of future applications by Kelda. He said: “The initial reaction is one of joy that Kelda have finally accepted, after nearly three years, that these wind farms are in a totally inappropriate and unacceptable location.
“The real worry is whether this is misleading spin and that they intend to return at a later date with further applications as they have done so elsewhere.
“It is a common and much-used practice of wind farm developers to return again and again after planning refusals or withdrawal of applications.
“This often goes on for many years and it wears the fighting resolve and finances of local communities down, as well as them having a dark cloud hanging over their lives.”
Kelda Water Services, the sister company of Yorkshire Water, had hoped both wind farms would have helped offset energy use at other Yorkshire Water sites.
Tom Hall, from the company, said: “We’ve worked hard to listen to the concerns of the community and, on balance, have decided that those concerns outweigh the merits of the proposed developments.
“We are still committed to using renewable energy to help protect Yorkshire Water from the potential impact of price rises in the volatile energy market, ultimately contributing to keeping customer bills as low as possible.
“We take a site-by-site approach to identifying suitable locations for renewable energy generation and the views of local communities are an important part of this.”