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Shelley villagers take on Kirklees Council in wind turbine row

Villagers are threatening to take legal action against Kirklees Council to try to prevent huge wind turbines being built in picturesque countryside.

The move comes after a spate of planning applications for windmills on greenbelt land in Shelley.

Local residents – who have formed Shelley Action Group (SAG) – say their main concern is that some of the large 34-metre-high turbines could be highly dangerous.

They spoke out after the damage to turbines in several parts of Huddersfield earlier this month.

Shelley barrister Naeem Siraj, who is acting on behalf of the group, told the Examiner: “We have seen four turbines damaged in recent gales across the district and have seen how they have shed their blades.

“When it’s icy they can also throw out ice for over 750m.

“And one of these proposed turbines is only 60m away from someone’s garden. It could kill somebody.

“It seems Kirklees Council are happy to stick them up as close to people’s houses as possible.”

Kirklees Council have already given the go-ahead for two turbines in the area – with a further four applications still pending.

One of the turbines, which has already been given approval to be built at Wool Row Farm off Wool Row Lane, will be 34m high with nine-metre-long blades.

But SAG say Kirklees Council denied them any opportunity to voice their concerns or objections to the turbine, so they have issued a barrister’s letter to the planning department to try to put a halt to building work.

There are also plans to build turbines at Pilling Top Farm, Denton Nook,

Barkhouse Farm and Standinghurst Farm in Shelley.

Mr Siraj said residents are also concerned the turbines will be a blot on the landscape as well as a cause of noise pollution.

He said: “There are more appropriate places for turbines to be built such as on the moors or in the sea – away from people’s houses.

“They certainly shouldn’t be built 60m away from someone’s back yard like one of the proposed turbines in Shelley.

“These turbines will be placed on top of hills overlooking everything and the surrounding wildlife has been totally ignored.

“It seems nothing takes precedence over this rush for renewables.”

A Bill is currently going through Parliament recommending a minimum distance of 1km between turbines and residential properties.

The National Association of Local Councils is also recommending a minimum distance of 700m.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said hey would not be providing a statement for legal reasons.