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Menston residents in battle to stop ‘huge’ wind turbine plan

Campaigners are fighting to stop an “industrial sized” wind turbine from being sited in green belt fields behind High Royds.

An action group has been set up to oppose plans for the 74-metre high turbine proposed for land north of Hawksworth Quarry.

The proposed turbine will be twice the height of High Royds Clock Tower and the Chelker Reservoir turbines, according to campaigners.

The group Menston Against Wind Turbines says if approved it will tower over the top of the trees and over the top of the Odda.

“The pleasant tranquil green oasis between the Odda and High Royds Hall is not far from the footpaths which criss-cross the area,” they say. “This is designated as a Special Landscape Area (SLA), and the Jubilee Path leads up to almost the edge of Rombalds Moor, which is an area of SSSI.”

The group is calling on local people to fight the application, which has been submitted by land owner John Ogden.

Guiseley and Rawdon councillor Paul Wadsworth is one of those warning about the proposal.

In a letter to the Wharfedale Observer he said: “In this instance the view from the Chevin would be affected by a new turbine in the area and clearly this is unacceptable given the popularity and importance of the Chevin amongst residents of Leeds and more widely.”

Menston Community Association chairman Alan Elsegood has also warned about its effects.

Writing on the WARD campaign group website he said: The pleasant, tranquil green oasis between the Odda and Highroyds Hall is not far from the footpaths which criss-cross the area.

“This is designated as a Special Landscape Area (SLA) and the Jubilee Path leads up to almost the edge of Rombalds Moor, which is an area of SSSI.

“The area enjoys Special Landscape Area status and such is the elevation of the moorside that the erection of a turbine of such height would lead to its domination of the entire landscape, and the turbine would be visible for many miles around. “The applicant is the owner/operator of the quarry, and it is rumoured that this one turbine is a test case, with a further six to follow if this application is successful.”

In a submission to Leeds City Council the scheme’s agents AAH Planning Consultants said: “The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for the UK to achieve 15 per cent of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

“This compares to three per cent in 2009. This proposal would directly accord with the principles behind the White Paper and the Renewable Energy Directive and would enable a local energy supply which would be entirely decentralised.”

“The consultants say the turbine would have a low level of impact on the surrounding landscape, and that, because of its 25 year life cycle, there would be no permanent impact.

It concludes “The features of interest within the landscape which contribute most significantly to its character would remain unaffected.”