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Group opposes Bronte moors turbines

Campaigners against a plan to build giant wind turbines on moors associated with the Bronte sisters are making a final attempt to convince councillors and planners to ditch the proposal.

People living close to Thornton Moor, west of Bradford, are hoping to stop the development in its tracks at a meeting next week. The moor is a couple of miles from the famous parsonage at Haworth where the Bronte sisters and their family lived, and which is now preserved as a museum.

Experts say their work – including Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights – was heavily influenced by the moorland landscape of the area. The Bronte Way footpath also runs straight across Thornton Moor.

Developers want to build four turbines next to the route of the footpath. Councillors are due to meet on Wednesday to decide whether to allow the first stage of the plan – a 200ft high wind monitoring mast.

Anthea Orchard, who lives in nearby Denholm Gate and chairs the Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group, said the Bronte connection is only part of their objection.

She said: “It’s too close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and it’s too close to other important sites. It’s also too close to many houses in the area. Quite simply, the site is totally inappropriate and we’re determined to fight it.”

Phil Dyke, development director at developer Banks Renewables, said the test mast would have minimal visual impact as it was so slender. He told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus: “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.”

Sir Bernard Ingham, an opponent of wind farms and supporter of nuclear energy who was brought up in Bronte country, said: “It is a disgrace. We have no energy policy, but we have a first-class policy to wreck every bit of countryside we can.”

Sir Bernard, who was Margaret Thatcher’s press secretary in Downing Street, added: “It is all very well saying that the local people can decide. The plain fact is that if the Government say we shall have wind farms, we will get wind farms.”