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Bronte Society fights new turbine plan

The Bronte Society has formally objected to Calderdale Council against proposals by Yorkshire Wind Power to replace turbines at its Ovenden Moor Wind Farm, near Halifax, with those more than double in size.

Proposals submitted include the construction of nine new turbines on the site that would be about 115 metres to their blade tip replacing the 23 there which stand at 48.9 metres to their tip.

But the Bronte Society says if the plan goes ahead it would spoil from the landscape surrounding the famous literary village and could harm its attraction to tourists.

In a letter to Calderdale planners, Sally McDonald, chairman of council for the Bronte Society, said: “The Worth Valley watershed includes those stretches of moorland and specific locations which are associated with the Bronte family and most particularly with the writings of Emily Bronte.

“They are culturally and historically unique and they form an internationally recognised part of England’s heritage. They also include sections of The Bronte Way and The Pennine Way.

“The turbines currently in operation at Ovenden Moor are visible from many parts of the watershed and their visual impact is unfortunate and inappropriate.

“However, the current proposal would introduce to the skyline man-made structures of such increased size that they could, potentially, be seen from as far away as Harrogate and Tadcaster.

“Seen from all areas of the watershed moorlands they would appear as overwhelming features in the landscape and would diminish the perception of its scale and remoteness.

“In an empty landscape even small turbines have a dominating effect and the movement of the blades draws the eye, making them impossible to ignore. The far greater size of the proposed turbines would have a defining and hugely detrimental influence upon the character of the landscape and its setting.

A spokesman for power company Eon, which is involved in the proposal, said the larger turbines would enable the site to more than double its generation capacity from 9.2MW to 22.5MW, while using far fewer turbines.

He said: “As with all our development plans we have carried out a thorough Environmental Impact Assessment study, backed by independent experts, which has shown that there will no impact on National Landscape Designations.

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