Building any more turbines on the hilltops around Todmorden would blight the countryside and harm leisure opportunities, according to landscape consultants.
Coronation Power wants to put five turbines on Todmorden Moor and others on nearby hilltops in the area around Walsden, Rochdale and Rossendale, which they say will help generate clean and sustainable energy, and tackle the harmful effects of climate change.
But Julie Martin Associates, recruited by councils affected by the proposed developments, has recommended the three plans are rejected because of their visual impact, especially those at Crook Hill, near Walsden.
“The windfarm would cause major harm to the key characteristics and integrity of this sensitive and highly valued landscape because it would be out of scale, would tend to dominate key views and important skylines and would adversely affect the area’s openness, wildness and tranquillity,” they state.
“This, in turn, would affect the quality of the recreational experience which is closely based on the special landscape qualities that Crook Hill offers.” The turbines, at 410ft to the tip of the rotor blades, would be the tallest structures in Calderdale and more than twice the size of those at Ovenden Moor, Halifax.
Even the machine hubs would be only a fraction shorter than Wainhouse Tower.
Calderdale, Rochdale, Lancashire and Rossendale councils asked the North Yorkshire-based consultants to look at the proposals because the turbines would be visible from as far away as the M62, Hebden Bridge and the northern edges of the Peak District. They say the plans for Crook Hill in particular would have a major impact on a number of footpaths running through the area, including the Pennine Way, Mary Towneley Loop and the Rochdale Way.
Friends of the South Pennines, an group concerned about three windfarm proposals have said if Coronation Power gets planning permission, Todmorden will be degraded after all the efforts of recent years to improve the area.
By Michael Peel
3 July 2007
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