May 7, 2012

Anger over felled tree on Oswaldtwistle Moor

The Citizen, 7 May 2012

A nature lover is angry that people behind a windfarm construction road felled a decades-old moorland tree rather than go a few metres either side.

Hyndburn Windfarm on Oswaldtwistle Moor has constructed a road for construction vehicles and to make way for the delivery of turbines.

However local walker Chris Whalen is angered that the road was laid straight through the path of the only trees on the moorland.

Mr Whalen said the trio of trees, thought to be up to 100 years old, were a key feature of the landscape.

He said felling the trees could have been avoided if the plans had been laid in a slightly different direction.

However the firm behind the Hyndburn Windfarm, Energiekontor said they could not have altered the path once the plans had been approved, as that would have broken planning regulations.

Energiekontor said it would have had to resubmit the planning application to make the changes.

Mr Whalen said: “It was a complete lack of common sense. They are the only three trees on the moorland, and have been there for as long as anyone can remember.

“Now there is a construction site road ploughed straight through where the central tree used to be.

“It’s harsh conditions for trees to grow on the moorland and these had done well to grow here at all and get established.

The trees will have been used by the local wildlife for shelter. It’s pretty clear that whoever drafted the plan just drew a line on a map without realising where the path was eventually going to go.

“When people objected to the windfarm’s effect on the landscape, no one even mentioned trees because no one thought the few ones there were would be targeted.”

Managing director of Energiekontor, Peter Harrison said: “It may seem like a simple thing to move the path to one side, but the planning regualtions are very exact.

“We would have had to resubmit the entire application and the trees concerned were not subject to Tree Preservation Orders. We have to abide by the permission we were given.”

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