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Kirklees Council planning officers recommend refusal for three 100m wind turbines in Colne Valley

Council planners have recommended controversial plans for three 100m turbines in the Colne Valley should be refused.

Kirklees planning officer guidance has just been published, and they believe the harm the three turbines will cause to the green belt will be too high to outweigh any benefit.

However, it will be the members of Huddersfield Planning Committee who will rule on the Slaithwaite Moor proposal when they meet on Thursday next week

The planning report says: “This proposal could lead to undoubted benefits due to the production of a significant amount of renewable energy. In this instance, these benefits would not be sufficient to offset the harm to the openness of the green belt.

“The development would conflict with the key characteristics of the existing landscape affecting regionally and nationally important landscapes.

“The development would give rise to significant adverse effects on visual amenity affecting access land, key recreational/tourist sites and routes and residential receptors.

“There would also be a perceived spread of wind energy development, encroaching on views from the National Park causing detrimental effects on sensitive recreational areas.

“The applicant has failed to demonstrate that this proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the integrity of the south Pennines SPA (Special Protection Area) and its bird species. Habitat Assessment Regulations require that the applicant demonstrate there is a need for the development or that it can only be sited in this location.

“No such need is demonstrated and there are other suitable sites where this development could take place.”

The planning report also says that Valley Wind were “formally advised that the significant negative environmental impacts associated with this proposal would outweigh any positive benefits” in pre-application advice.

he Valley Wind Co-operative need planning consent for the £10m project that will see the wind turbines erected on land off New Hey Road near Scammonden. As well as the turbines, there would also need to be a sub-station, transformer building, underground cable works, site access and temporary works on the site.

The community-based wind turbines would be funded by shareholders, with a community fund also launched that could see £150,000 a year put into community use. Supporters say the turbines will produce enough renewable electricity for the national grid to power over 4,700 homes a year.

And they had the support of 1,053 people, while the objectors numbered just 315.

Objectors includes Kirklees highways; the council’s environment officer; Kirklees business and economy department; Natural England; the Peak District National Park; the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; MPs Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) and Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley); National Trust; Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Huddersfield Civic Society.