They were already battling to protect the rugged moor which inspired Heathcliff and Cathy’s doomed romance.
And now campaigners opposing plans for a wind farm near Haworth, West Yorkshire, are facing a war on two fronts, as another energy firm attempts to place turbines on the landscape at the heart of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.
Four turbines are already proposed by one company, right next to the Bronte tourist trail. German firm E.on now wants to upgrade a farm of small turbines four miles away on Ovendon Moor, replacing them with nine turbines 377 feet (115 metres) high.
In April, locals hit out at the £12million scheme by Banks Renewable Energy to site turbines measuring 328 feet high on Thornton Moor, only a few miles from the Bronte sisters’ former home, the parsonage in Haworth.
Its windswept plains were the scene for Cathy’s passionate declaration of love, in which she exclaims: ‘Make the moors never change and you and I never change’.
Bronte Society chairman Sally McDonald said the new scheme, which would replace 23 turbines built in 1993, measuring 48m (157 feet) tall, would be ‘huge and monstrous’.
‘In my opinion, the smaller turbines already there are damaging enough,’ she said. ‘But in comparison with the proposed new ones they are insignificant.
‘It’s devastating. They will change and scar the landscape of this very special moorland place in a way that will be abhorrent.
‘Five hundred years from now people will still be reading the Bronte novels which are as ever-lasting as Shakespeare. But will people still come to Haworth?’
Locals also fear the larger turbines will involve injecting 35,000 tonnes of fresh concrete into the moorland to anchor them, which will remain after proposed wind farm reaches the end of its life in 25 years’ time.
In a formal objection to Calderdale council, Miss McDonald warned that damage to the ‘culturally and historically unique’ landscape would hit tourism, which is now the lifeblood of the local economy.
The moors are a constant presence in the writings of Charlotte, Anne and Emily Bronte, who enjoyed the breath-taking views on long walks from their family parsonage, now a museum.
A spokesman for E.on said: ‘[The proposal] 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.’
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