National Wind Power has dropped its controversial plans to build 44 wind turbines at Flaight Hill in West Yorkshire. Local planners at Calderdale Council forced the issue by asking the company to withdraw its application for the 22 MW wind farm, first lodged in November 1993. From the outset the project ran into a storm of protest and NWP requested more time for allaying the fears of objectors before planners made their decision. Meantime, the project failed to gain a power purchase contract in the last round of NFFO renewables subsidies and slipped down NWP's priority list. "The application has been with us for two years and it has been a year since they were last in touch," says Beverley Smith of Calderdale Council. The council decided it had waited long enough. "Because of the long delays we thought it would be best for all parties if we asked NWP to withdraw their application. They replied agreeing to that course of action," explains Smith. Local objectors are jubilant about the decision. "We have battled for two years to get this result," says Brian Cullinan of the Flaight Hill Opposition Group. He denies that the group's fight against the wind farm is simply a case of "not in my back yard," stressing that the World Wildlife Fund, English Nature and Friends of the Earth were all opposed to it. He claims his group is not against wind energy but says that developers must focus on appropriate sites. "There is a place for wind energy. Lets find the right spots." Meanwhile, National Wind Power does not rule out the site for future development. "It is fair to say we are keeping our options open. Our intentions depend on the next NFFO round," says the company's Roger Ogle. He explains that it is one of the schemes being considered for submission for a NFFO-4 contract, but a final decision has yet to be taken.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol