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Hilltop wind farm gets thumbs-down  

Planning officers are recommending plans for three 400ft turbines on the hilltops near Todmorden be turned down.

Councillors will consider the scheme at Reaps Moss when Rossendale Development Control Committee meets next Wednesday.

Experts say that apart from the visual impact, the machines, access tracks and related equipment could damage the fragile ecology of the moor and water supplies.

Calderdale Council is due to consider a related application for five turbines on Todmorden Moor after Christmas.

Denise McGowan, spokeswoman for the pressure group Friends of the South Pennines, said members welcomed the advice from the Rossendale Council planning officers.

“Their reasons for refusal are largely in line with those we have put forward but at this stage there is no room for complacency as the committee has yet to determine the application,” she said.

Earlier this year, Julie Martin Associates told Calderdale, Rossendale and Rochdale councils that the turbines would blight the countryside and harm leisure opportunities

The Open Spaces Society, a pressure group for common land, has opposed the schemes saying they would be totally out of scale and visible from miles around.

But Natural England, the Government’s landscape adviser on the natural environment, has concluded that either alone or in combination with other plans or projects, the turbines would be unlikely to have a significant effect on the interest features of the South Pennine Moors.

If planning permission is granted, Coronation Power would hope to begin building work at Todmorden Moor, Reaps Moor and Crook Hill, near Rochdale, in the second half of 2008.

By Michael Peel

Evening Courier

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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