What amounts to a windfarm could be created on picturesque hills near the East Lancashire-North Yorkshire border, a council leader has warned.
No fewer than 23 bids for turbines, usually measuring just under 50 metres high, have been in the pipeline for between Colne and Lothersdale.
Hill farmers off Skipton Old Road claim the electricity-generating windmills can prove a vital source of income as they attempt to diversify.
William Hickson, of Knarr Side Farm, said: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to justify working seven days a week, 365 days a year, for very little.”
And Mark Bowker, of Flass Bent Farm, added: “I was born and brought up on the hillsides of Pendle and learned to appreciate the landscape and I wouldn’t do anything to spoil my own countryside and own back yard.”
Planning consultant Peter Cavanagh, representing Stuart Johnson, of Piked Edge Farm, told Colne area committee a turbine was needed there to replace a diesel generator for a 16,000-hen laying operation.
But Owen Oliver, president of Lidgett and Beyond, said: “We are very concerned that the ridge and countryside over to Noyna is at high risk of being degraded by turbines, which are alien to this landscape.”
Protesters also insisted that at 45-metres high, the turbines were as tall as three double-decker buses and were being rejected wholesale by planning authorities on the Yorkshire side of the border.
Coun Joe Cooney, Pendle Council leader and a Boulsworth councillor, said: “I said 18 months ago that we would end up having a wind farm by stealth. I am concerned about the cumulative impact of these.”
The 225 kilowatt wind turbines at all three farms were each rejected by the area committee.
But as the decision was being taken, Coun Ian Hartley, vice-chairman of Trawden Forest Parish Council, warned that if turbine applications were turned down, and farms went out of business, horticultural businesses and stables would take over.
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