The Bronte Society has joined the fight against proposals for a multi-million-pound wind farm after developers revealed a new site map – larger than the original plans.
Banks Renewables is looking to spend around £12.5 million building up to four turbines on moorland south of Denholme.
The 60-metre-high test mast will be put up to collect wind data if a planning application is granted, ahead of a full application to Bradford Council, expected to be submitted in April.
Critics from Thornton Moor Wind Farm Action Group claim an original map by Banks showed a smaller site, away from homes in Denholme.
But its latest draft report, submitted to the council as part of its application to put up the test mast, shows an extended boundary near homes in Denholme Gate.
A spokesman for Banks said the new map was a “study area”, which shows where environmental impact assessments had been carried out.
However Anthea Orchard, who set up Thornton Moor Wind Farm Action Group in 2010, said: “It is an extended boundary from what they publicised originally and without consultation and, whilst we realise this is only a scoping report for research and not part of an application for the wind farm, it could pave the way for turbines to be put up closer to homes.” Mrs Orchard said the group also had concerns about the loss of fields, the site’s close proximity to geological and biodiversity areas such as the South Pennine Moors – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – and the visual impact.
The Bronte Society has also objected to the application for the test mast, describing the temporary structure as “further pollution of the skyline”.
In a letter of objection to Bradford Council, chairman Sally Macdonald said: “The Bronte Society cannot support the erection of any structure which, even if of a temporary nature, has implications for the future permanent defacement of the views from Haworth moorlands.
“Haworth and its moorlands have international cultural and historical significance and any proposals which have an adverse impact on this significance are to be disapproved of.”
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director for Banks, said: “The 36-page scoping report that we recently submitted to Bradford Council sets out a detailed framework for the assessment of the development and contains a great deal of information about every aspect of it. The area referenced in it is not the proposed turbine development area, but is in fact the ‘study area boundary’, which defines the land across which we have undertaken the Environmental Impact Assessment surveys that are provided to the council as part of the planning process, to help identify what we expect to be the key local influences on the scope of the development.”
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