A public inquiry is to be held in Halifax into controversial plans to put five huge wind turbines on the moors overlooking Todmorden.
Coronation Power finalised the designs last summer with the hope of starting construction this summer.
But because of Calderdale Council’s failure to determine the application, the company has appealed and the Planning Inspectorate has decided to hold an inquiry on a date yet to be arranged.
Written representations must be sent to the Inspectorate by February 22.
A council spokesman said the scheme was complex and had taken longer than expected to put before the planning committee because of the need for additional information.
“Members will be asked in February whether they would have approved or rejected the application and the information given to the inquiry.”
Rossendale Council rejected plans before Christmas for three 410ft turbines, which were to be built as part of the scheme, at nearby Reaps Moss.
Experts and members of the public are divided over the impact the turbines and associated infrastructure will have on Todmor-den Moor.
The tip of each turbine blade will be more than twice the height
of Halifax Town Hall, where the public inquiry will be held. They will be seen for miles around.
Coronation Power says the five turbines when working to capacity could produce enough clean energy to supply about 8,300 homes.
Natural England, the Government’s statutory landscape adviser on the natural environment, has concluded that either alone, or in combination with others, the turbines would be unlikely to have a significant effect on the interesting features of the South Pennine Moors.
But Julie Martin Asso-ciates told Calderdale and Rochdale councils that the turbines would blight the countryside and harm leisure opportunities while the Open Spaces Society, a pressure group for common land, has opposed the schemes, saying they would be totally out of scale.
Coronation Power has promised the council a £275,000 community benefit grant in return for planning permission.
By Michael Peel
28 January 2008
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