£12m wind farm with nine giant turbines will blight Bronte country despite pleas not to ruin landscape
A wind farm of nine giant turbines will be built on the bleak moors which inspired Emily Bronte’s classic novel Wuthering Heights.
The £12million scheme was approved yesterday despite impassioned pleas not to ruin the character of the iconic landscape.
At 377ft (115 metres) high, the turbines will be more than twice the 169ft height of Nelson’s Column. Each giant blade will measure 131ft (40 metres).
The local planning committee’s unanimous decision will allow energy giant E.ON to build the controversial wind farm at Ovendon Moor, West Yorkshire.
Campaigners are also furious that building the foundations involves injecting 35,000 tonnes of concrete into the moorland.
The giant turbines will replace a wind farm of 23 turbines, less than half the size, built in 1993.
Objectors said the huge new structures will cause far greater visual damage and hit the area’s vital tourist industry hard.
High moorland overlooking the Bronte parsonage at Haworth could also marred by plans for another £12million wind farm.
Four turbines soaring to 328ft could be built on pristine open moorland. Consent for a test mast has already been given.
Campaigners fear the battle against this project, just four miles from the Ovendon Moor wind farm, could be doomed after yesterday’s decision by Calderdale Council.
Bronte Society chairman Sally McDonald said last night that she was ‘gutted’ by the ruling.
‘These turbines will loom over the whole landscape and visitors will be disappointed because the feeling of isolation will be gone,’ she warned.
‘Who knows what the next planning application will be? Haworth could be increasingly surrounded by such structures. There has been a lack of sensitivity to the value of this unique and iconic landscape. It is hugely disappointing. We were not objecting to wind farms, just the visibility of the turbines.
‘What visitors expect to see was “the high waving heather” described by Emily Bronte, not high spinning turbines.’
Miss McDonald told councillors the upgraded wind farm would be ‘wholly inappropriate’. She said: ‘This landscape is part of our national heritage. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.’
Friends of the Earth put in one of the eight submissions in favour of the scheme.
The new wind farm will more than double the energy-generating capacity of the site.
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