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Refused Cumberworth wind farm plan back for second time

An unpopular windfarm plan has resurfaced only a few months after it was turned down.

Residents and councillors hit out last October after an application for a string of five 15m tall windmills at Meadow Nook Farm off Haddingley Lane, Upper Cumberworth, was submitted adjacent to the site of a controversial four turbine scheme surrounding tiny Birdsedge.

More than 500 people, backed by MP Simon Reevell and Clr Jim Dodds, had already objected to the initial plan, which features giant turbines more than 400ft tall, and action group BOLT (Birdsedge and district Opposition to Large wind Turbines) was formed.

Following the smaller application Clr Nigel Patrick said it was one of the worst he had ever seen.

And one villager described the plan by farmer, James Peace, which is on the same site as one of the 400ft tall turbines, as “a little bit of mischief-making”.

A month later the five turbine proposal was refused by Kirklees Council planners with officers stating: “The cumulative effect of erecting five wind turbines would have a detrimental impact upon the visual amenity and openness of the green belt, particularly in such a prominent location, isolated from surrounding settlements.”

But last week a new application was submitted by Mr Peace for three 15m turbines on the same piece of land.

The failed application included a turbine only 224m from a neighbouring property while the new application states the trio of turbines could be up 376m from the nearest neighbouring property.

The new application states the three small turbines will be grouped close to the proposed large scale turbine on Mr Peace’s land to minimise their impact on the landscape.

Almost a year after the giant wind proposal by Pure Renewable Energy was formally submitted Kirklees planning chiefs are still considering what to do.

Clr Jim Dodds said planners should consider the new application in conjunction with the delayed larger scheme.

He said: “I don’t see any difference in the plan for five and the reduced plan for three turbines.

“It’s the cumulative effect that we’re worried about and that’s why I still think they should be considered together.”

But Kirklees Green Party leader Clr Andrew Cooper said people needed to take account of the small size of the plan.

He said: “A sense of scale and perspective is important with wind turbines.

“People consider huge turbines in the same way as smaller ones.

“These are completely different turbines on a completely different scale.

“There needs to be more education about the benefits of small scale wind power, as long as it’s in the right place, unlike the ones on top of the Civic Centre 2 (in Huddersfield).”