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370ft wind turbines could tower over Bronte country

Turbines twice the height of Nelson’s Column could tower over Bronte country if new plans are given the green light.

Campaigners were already fighting plans to build four 328ft turbines on Thornton Moor, overlooking the former family Parsonage at Haworth, West Yorkshire.

But now a new scheme announced this week could see nine 377ft tall turbines on moorland four miles away at Ovenden.

Energy giant E.ON wants to upgrade the company’s two decade old Ovenden Moor Wind Farm by pensioning off the existing turbines and replacing them with ones more than twice as tall.

Residents of Brontë Country’s picturesque villages were dismayed when the 48m (157ft) tall turbines were granted planning permission in 1993.

But campaigners who fought the low key turbines in the first place say their impact will be insignificant compared to the proposed replacement turbines which are two and half times taller.

It is also feared that 35,000 tonnes of fresh concrete will need to be poured into the moorland to anchor the turbines which can never be removed.

Brontë Society Chairman Sally McDonald said yesterday: “In my opinion, the smaller turbines already there are damaging enough.

“But in comparison with the proposed new ones they are insignificant.

“These new ones will be huge and monstrous.

“It’s devastating. They will change and scar the landscape of this very special moorland place in a way that will be abhorrent.

“They will cause massive damage all along the skyline and be even worse than the Banks Renewable Energy scheme.

“Five hundred years from now people will still be reading the Brontë novels which are as ever-lasting as Shakespeare.

“But will people still come to Haworth?”

E.ON’s development partner Yorkshire Wind Power Ltd is seeking consent for nine wind turbines measuring 115m from the base to the tip of the blades.

The former farming and textile region of Brontë Country, which includes Haworth and its associated moorlands, now depends on the tourism industry.

Anthea Orchard, Chairman of Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group, which is campaigning against both wind farms, said: “They want to tear up our precious moorland yet again.

“Doing it nearly 20 years ago was bad enough, but to come back with the intention of injecting another 35,000 tonnes of concrete into the ground is adding insult to injury.”

An E.ON spokesman said yesterday in response to the protests: “E.ON’s Ovenden Moor wind farm in West Yorkshire has been in operation since 1993.

“We recently submitted a planning application to Calderdale Council to repower the wind farm. “The proposal would see the existing 23 turbines, which have been supplying renewable power for over 18 years, being removed and replaced with nine modern turbines.

“This will allow the site to more than double its generation capacity from 9.2MW to 22.5MW, whilst using far fewer turbines.

“We’re currently consulting with the local community on these proposals and recently hosted public information days to give local people the opportunity to view and discuss the proposed designs for the wind farm.”