A part of Bradford has “reached the limit” of the number of wind turbines it can take, according to a planning expert.
Bradford Council planning officer Peter Timbrell made the assertion as he refused a planning application for a turbine at Wellfield Bar Farm on Brighouse And Denholme Road in Queensbury.
The turbine would have stood 36 metres tall to the tip of the blades.
Mr Timbrell argued that allowing a further turbine on the site, which lies in the Thornton and Queensbury Landscape Character Area, would further harm the surrounding landscape, already dotted with numerous wind turbines.
In his report, he stated: “The support for a number of turbines in the landscape has been instrumental in reducing the pressure for this form of development on the most open, and fragile, uplands that lend much to the attractiveness of the district.
“However, there is clearly a limit to the degree of development that the area can satisfactorily absorb and it is considered here that that limit has been reached.
“In these circumstances the character of the landscape has been altered to the extent that further similar developments would be undesirable in view of the visual harm that will accumulate.
“There have been a number of wind turbines constructed in this particular character area over the last two or three years, which represent in combination a noticeable change in the character.
“The ability of the landscape to ‘absorb’ the impact of these wind turbines has, in my opinion been exceeded, and the presence of such machines has become significant in redefining the local landscape.”
He points out that as well as numerous turbines approved by Bradford Council, there were also several others just over the border of neighbouring Calderdale.
Anthea Orchard, of Denholme Gate, has campaigned against many of the wind farms in the area, and welcomed Mr Timbrell’s comments.
She said: “This is a really big decision.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a while. We have always said there should be a limit in place, and clearly we were right.
“But at the moment it still depends on which planning officer is making the decision. The Council says it has to look at each application on its own merits, but it does have to look at the bigger picture.
“This needs to become part of the Council’s policy and soon.”
Ward Councillor Malcolm Sykes (Con, Thornton and Allerton), a former member of Bradford Area Planning Panel, said: “Some people look at that part of the moors and think it isn’t as pretty as some areas of the South Pennines so they say this is where turbines should be.
“The application have come in in a piecemeal way. Myself and a lot of councillors on the panel thought there would be a point where we had to say ‘enough is enough.’ It was inevitable we would get to this point.”
When asked if Mr Timbrell’s comments pointed to more turbines in the area being refused permission, a Council spokesman said: “Each planning application is carefully considered on its merits.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding