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Countryside will disappear, say conservationists  

A conservation group has criticised a plan to build a huge wind farm near Oswaldtwistle.

The Lancashire branch of the Campaign for Rural England has expressed concerns over the proposal to erect up to 24 turbines, each 420 feet tall, on the moors above Oswald-twistle and Haslingden, between Grane Road and Haslingden Old Road.

David Clarke, acting chairman of the CPRE’s Lancashire branch, said it would destroy the natural environment of the area.

He said: “Places like the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Park are protected by statute from having these structures built on their land, as they should be.

“But the West and South Pennines are fair game for developers.

“The area is enjoyed by walkers and is very quickly going to disappear if we do not do something.”

According to Mr Clarke, planners and the Government are interested in building wind farms simply because there is so much information widely available on them while other energy sources, such as solar power, are not being properly investigated.

He added: “We would like to see more research into other technology. The problem is, because the Government is pushing for renewable energy and so much is already known about wind turbines, other areas are not being considered as they should.

“More time and money needs to be spent exploring these other sources.”

Judith Cornfield, project manager for EnergieKontor, the company behind the scheme, said: “Several organisations and members of the public have told us which viewpoints on the moors they most cherish, so we will be able to include these in our visual impact assessment.”

The company is currently completing a public consultation on the project before applying for planning permission.

Solicitor Stuart Kaufman, 53, who lives near the site at West Stone Edge Farm, said: “I think it’s a lack of joined-up thinking in Government. Greater insulation in homes would save far more carbon in the long run.”

An Observer online poll showed 77 per cent of readers in favour of a wind farm.

By Kate Watkins

Accrington Observer

27 July 2007

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

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