Campaigners have vowed to “fight to the death” plans to put up a wind farm on the moors which inspired the Bronte sisters’ famous novels.
Bradford councillors are set to make a decision next week on whether to allow developers Banks Renewables to put up a test mast on Thornton Moor, Denholme, just yards from the Bronte Way.
That may pave the way for a £12.5 million scheme for four turbines on the moor.
Campaigners from Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group are preparing a fighting fund to pay for professional legal advice and battle the developers’ plans at any future public inquiry.
Anthea Orchard, chairman of the group, said the battle would probably cost tens of thousands of pounds, but will be “vital” to preserve the heritage and wildlife of Thornton Moor for future generations.
Mrs Orchard, of Denholme Gate, said: “We are prepared to fight this to the death. That is how strongly I feel about it. This is a huge project on an unsuitable site, close to a site of special scientific interest and other important wildlife sites such as the reservoir with wetland birds’ sites.
“It is only 600 metres from homes in Denholme Gate and the damage of the moor during construction will be phenomenal.
“The bigger project will mean two turbines each side of Black Edge Lane, running right through the middle of the Bronte Way.”
The Bronte Parsonage Museum has also objected to Banks’s proposals for a 60-metre wind monitoring mast, which will go before the Shipley Area Planning panel at a meeting on Wednesday next week.
In a letter of objection, the Bronte Society has objected to any moves which would spoil the “international cultural and historical significance” of the area.
Shipley MP Philip Davies is also objecting to the project, along with 223 people who signed a petition, 100 people who sent letters of objection and Oxenhope Parish Council.
Mrs Orchard said she would be attending the planning meeting at Shipley Town Hall and urged others to support her. Bradford Council’s planning officers have recommended the test mast is approved.
Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said: “The visual impact of a test mast at Thornton Moor would be very slight as it would be a slender structure. Details will also have to be agreed with Natural England to minimise ecological impacts.”
He said developing sustainable low-carbon, renewable energy projects was “vital” to the economic future of Yorkshire and the UK.
Mr Dyke said: “World populations are growing and many historically less affluent countries are now yielding greater financial strength. These global issues mean that in the near future the UK will have to outbid even more competitors to secure supplies of fossil fuels, forcing prices higher.
“Last week’s panic buying of petrol may be a foretaste of a world that is unable to transfer to more sustainable energy sources.”
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