Controversial proposals for three wind turbines in Colne have been unanimously rejected by councillors.
The separate planning applications for Knarr Side Farm, Flass Bent Farm, and Piked Edge Farm, all in Skipton Old Road, sparked a heated debate at the latest Colne and District Committee meeting.
For those opposing the plans, there were fears that the cumulative impact of the 45m to 45.5m high metal structures would cause a blot on the landscape. There was also other concerns raised, including the lack of proof of the benefits of turbines and the potential for noise pollution.
Plenty of speakers stood up to protest against the applications in the packed town hall, with words such as “alien”, “detrimental” and “ grave” chosen to describe the 225kw structures.
One opposer stated how the turbines would be three times the size of a double decker bus and two-and-a-half times the size of St Bartholomew’s Church, in Colne, while Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney said: “This is not what residents want. There are far better options than just pure wind.”
But for the applicants and those in support of wind turbines, it was stated the proposals were a way of supporting local farmers in difficult economic times, and of providing employment in the steel industry. While councillors understood and empathised with the financial strain that farmers now face, they felt the visual impact of the turbines would be too much of a blight.
The meeting also heard from Mark Bowker, the son of the applicant for the Flass Bent Farm application. He said the turbines would bring opportunities for the young people of Pendle and added: “We would never do anything to spoil our own countryside and our own back yard. We are trying to make our livelihoods.”
Following all the applicant’s pleas Coun. Ann Kerrigan suggested setting up a working group to look at Pendle’s rural economy.
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