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Wind farm plan on huge scale  

The huge scale of a wind farm planned for the moors around Oswaldtwistle became apparent this week.

It was revealed that the company involved wants to erect up to 24 turbines.

And each would be 130 metres (426 feet) tall.

Blackpool Tower is only slightly higher at 158 metres (518 feet).

The exact site on Oswaldtwistle and Haslingden Moors has not been revealed but it would be between Grane Road and Haslingden Old Road.

Developer EnergieKontor would have to conduct land and soil surveys to determine if the natural environment could sustain the giant structures but said the scheme could produce 50 megawatts of electricity a year.

A network of hardcore tracks would have to be constructed from public roads.

Solicitor Stuart Kaufan, who lives at West Stone Edge Farm near the planned site, fears it will ruin the fragile moorland environment.

The 53-year-old said: “It is disproportionably intrusive to build something nearly the size of Blackpool Tower on the land.

“Because of climate change the moorland is already under threat and we should do everything we can to protect it.”

Hyndburn’s MP Greg Pope said: “I am quite concerned about this. These things are going to be huge.

“I know this area very well and I don’t want to see it ruined. The best place for wind farms is offshore.”

The firm behind the plan is EnergieKontor UK, a subsidiary of a German firm which specialises in building onshore wind farms.

It held a briefing meeting for councillors from Hyndburn and Rossendale at Holden Vale Hotel, Helmshore, on Monday night.

Many Hyndburn councillors are prevented from commenting because they may have to determine the planning application but leader Peter Britcliffe has called for the opinions of members of the public.

Councillor John Griffiths, who attended the meeting, said: “This is a long-term project which would take several years to develop. There would be a lot of testing of equipment which would take time”

Environmental charity, the Prospects Foundation, said it supports the idea of using renewable energy sources in the area but added: “We are not, at this stage, in a position to balance all the issues and it is not our job to predict the outcome of an application.”

Residents have already received information packs about the plan and details are on the company’s website.

The council will formally invite residents’ views on the development once a planning application is submitted.

Judith Cornfield, project manager for EnergieKontor, said: “We are some months away from a complete application. This will depend on whether tests show the land is accessible. It’s only by consulting local organsations and local people that we can find out about issues.”

The company said it would study the impact on the landscape and visual amenity, the current use of the site as common land with grazing rights, the impact on wildlife, noise and recreational and tourism issues, bearing in mind the proximity of the Rossendale Way and the Clough Head information centre and cafe.

By Kate Watkins

Accrington Observer

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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