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Go-ahead given for wind turbine No 6

A 27-metre wind turbine can be built on farmland at Cowling, despite residents’ fears it is part of “a windfarm by stealth”.

Craven planners heard objectors’ claims that the planned turbine, in open countryside, 170m from Martin’s Barn at Hardfield Farm, was one of several either already built or in the planning process in the area.

Graham Smelt, spokesman for objectors, told Craven District Council’s planning committee there were five turbines already and another 25 in the planning process.

He said not everyone was aware of the number of turbines being planned in both Craven and Pendle districts, but that the cumulative effect needed to be considered.

He added that there was evidence people had struggled to sell their houses because of an obligation to tell prospective buyers about a planned turbine.

“A lot of people are not keen to talk out because they think it will fracture the community, but we feel this is our backyard,” he said.

But Paul Mason, of agents Windle, Beech and Winthrop, said the turbine would provide power for the farm, with any remaining fed back into the National Grid.

He said the turbine would also help put out the message that Craven was committed and serious about renewable energy.

Coun Ady Green (Con), who declared an interest as he knew the applicant, Mr R Wilkinson, didn’t take part in the debate and vote, after first speaking in favour of the proposal as ward councillor.

Coun Ken Hart (Ind) said although he believed no member of the committee was in favour of wind turbines, he could find no reason why the application should be turned down.

He continued by asking why it was that the turbines always seemed to be white or grey, and could they not be green?

Coun Alan Sutcliffe (Con) said he had less of a problem with farm turbines than the larger, commercial wind farms and added that they were usually grey to blend in with their surroundings.

Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) said he liked turbines, but did wonder at what point there would be enough.

“We do have to look at each application on its own merit but at what point will we get to the straw that breaks the camel’s back and will it come to the time when the whole valley is full of turbines that will change the landscape forever?” he said.