The unique landscape that inspired the latest David Hockney paintings is in danger of being “swamped” by wind turbines.
The famous painter, who has recently been described as Britain’s greatest living artist, returned to the open skies and rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds for his forthcoming exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
But the sweeping vistas inland from the east Yorkshire coast could soon be marked by more industrial forms as applications flood in to build wind farms along the escarpments.
Campaigners fear that the plans are more likely to go through under the controversial reforms to the planning laws that the Daily Telegraph is currently leading a campaign against.
David Hinde, No to Wolds windfarms campaign group, said there are applications for 196 wind turbines in the area.
He said the unique prehistoric landscape that has not changed since prehistoric times will be “commercialised.”
“These vertical structures that move, flicker and make noise completely change the ambience, seeting and sense of place that people appreciate when they visit the Yorkshire Wolds,” he said.
“Hockney himself has said ‘the enjoyment of landscape is a spatial thrill’. But that could be lost if these wind farms go ahead.”
Mr Hinde has written to the Queen and to the Government calling for the area around Bridlington and above Scarborough to be made an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so it is protected for future generations.
Mr Hockney, 74, has spoken of how the countryside where he grew up inspired his painting and drew him back to explore the light and space.
Although he has expressed strong views on Government policy in the past, he was not available for comment.
East Riding Council said there already 11 turbines approved but not yet operation in the Wolds. An application has been received for a further windfarm of nine turbines at Thornholme near Bridlington and for 14 turbines at Hunmanby, near Scarborough. There are also a number of large turbines either already built or awaiting approval in farms in the area.
Pete Ashcroft, the council’s head of planning and development management, insisted turbines will only be allowed where it does not damage the views.
“The council considers each application for wind turbines carefully, which includes assessing the effects of proposals on the landscape taking into account any already permitted schemes in the vicinity.”