Plans to build a windfarm on the moors above Todmorden have been blown off course by a model flying club.
Coronation Power wants to put five 125-metre tall turbines at Flower Scarr Road to generate electricity for up to 10,000 homes.
But a Government planning inspector has refused even to allow the firm to build a 60-metre wind gauge because of the effect it might have on the 25 or so flying club members who have used the moor since the end of World War Two.
Harold Crabtree, who has been a member of the club since 1946, said: “There is someone up there most days when the weather is fine.
“The site is perfect because it is so isolated ““ it doesn’t annoy anyone and is unlikely to cause any injuries if a plane comes down.”
Members of the Rossendale Valley Model Flying Club maintain a carefully manicured takeoff and landing strip on the moor which is used for models with a wingspan of up to 10ft.
Secretary Ian Lever said Coronation Power could probably site the wind gauge far enough from the strip to avoid it becoming a hazard.
“But it looks like they will want to go on and build turbines directly in line with the runway which would make it completely impossible for us.
“A windfarm would also create difficulties for model gliders and people who go hang-gliding off Flower Scarr,” said Mr Lever.
Coronation Power’s Paul Taylor said his company still intended to seek planning approval for the turbines and would submit an application to Calderdale Council next month.
The result of the appeal coincides with a two-day exhibition of Coronation Power’s plans at Todmorden Town Hall which continues today.
Planning inspector Clive Turner said: “The disruption would not be permanent but over a year could have very damaging consequences for this activity, the enjoyment of the participants and the maintenance of the site they use,” he said.
l Todmorden Moor is owned by James Dearden, Lord of the Manor of Rochdale.
He has been paid “a nominal sum” by Coronation power to have an exclusive option agreement on the land and will receive a rental fee depending on how many turbines are eventually built.
By Michael Peel
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