Star-gazers are objecting to plans for giant wind turbines on the moors – because they threaten to block their view of the heavens.
Volunteers who have run the astronomy centre off Bacup Road, Todmorden, for the last 26 years have hit out at proposals for the wind farm nearby.
Spokesman Andrew Siero-slawski said: “Our project provides facilities for casual and enthusiast astronomers but is in jeopardy due to the turbines which will encircle the site.”
He said apart from getting in the way of observations close to the horizon, the 410ft turbines would cause so much air disturbance they would make star-gazing at higher elevations almost impossible.
“From our observatory, the turbines for Crook Hill will be on the line of the ecliptic, along which we make most of our observations – the path aligns with the planets throughout the year. If they are allowed to build them, it would be a disaster for us and mean an end to observational astronomy from this site.”
The centre was founded in 1982 with an emphasis on practical aspects, as well as to interest the public.
It is open to visitors on Saturday evenings and has a wide range of equipment, from binoculars to 17-inch telescopes.
Future plans include building a reflecting telescope with a 42-inch mirror.
Public inquiries are to be held on dates still to be fixed into the plans by Coronation Power for turbines on Todmorden Moor, Crook Hill and Reaps Moss.
Calderdale Council has objected to all the schemes because of their impact and there have been more than 2,000 representations from organisations, agencies and individuals.
Coronation Power says the five turbines at Todmorden Moor alone could produce energy for 8,300 homes.
By Michael Peel
20 March 2008
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