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Campaigners petition for Yorkshire Wolds protection

Yorkshire Wolds
Image caption Campaigners claim there are currently planning applications to build 196 turbines across the Wolds

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Yorkshire Wolds to be granted special protection status amid plans for wind turbines.

The No To Wolds Windfarm Group is fighting plans to erect a series of wind turbines across the area.

The organisation said getting it designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) would limit or stop developments.

However, officials said that becoming an AONB would not restrict wind farms.

The online petition, started by Wolds residents Steve and Julia Hey, has been backed by local MEP Godfrey Bloom and the Conservative MP for East Yorkshire, Greg Knight.

Ms Hey said she was concerned about the scale of the proposed developments.

"What worries me is that everywhere you look there will be a wind turbine and the pre-historic landscape will be gone forever", she said

Campaigners are fighting plans for a number of wind turbine schemes, ranging from single units to sites with multiple turbines.

The proposed locations include: 14 turbines up to 145m (475 ft) high near Hunmanby, 11 turbines near Fraisethorpe, nine turbines at Thornholme and 10 turbines east of Malton.

'Out of scale'

The campaign has received support from internationally-renowned artist David Hockney.

Hockney, who lives in Bridlington, has spent the past few years painting the Wolds landscape.

He said the turbine plans were "totally out of scale".

The East Riding of Yorkshire Council has refused planning permission for some turbine projects in the past, only to have them approved after an appeal by the developer to the government.

Howard Davies, chief executive officer of the National Association of AONB, said some of the UK's 8,000 square miles (12,870 sq km) of AONB were already home to renewable energy schemes.

He said the status did "not mean a block on sustainable energy generation by any means at all".

He added: "You would be unlikely to have an AONB designated purely to put a block on any form of development. That's not really why the designation is here."

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