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Bronte literary links help scupper Oxenhope turbine plans
8:00pm Friday 22nd February 2013 in Keighley
Bronte Society bosses have welcomed a decision to throw out plans for a wind turbine in the Worth Valley.
Bradford Council rejected the application for a 15-metre-high turbine at Bodkin Lane in Oxenhope.
Planning officers ruled the harm it would do to the landscape outweighed the “limited” environmental benefits. They also acknowledged the area was particularly sensitive to change because of its literary significance.
The refusal notice said the turbine would “introduce an incongruous and widely visible vertical element into this sensitive landscape, whose historical and literary associations are central to its wider economic value in tourist terms”.
It added: “It would be seen from a number of vantage points, and would result in significant harm to the character of the landscape that would outweigh its limited contribution towards overall energy needs.”
Bronte Society chairman, Sally McDonald, said: “I am delighted the council has made this decision, and that all future applications will have to take into account ‘the importance of the historical and literary associations of the area’.
“Visitors journey from around the world to see the wild moors of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. High waving heather not high waving turbines!”
Christine Went, heritage and conservation officer at the Bronte Society, said: “We are delighted Bradford Council has given sensitive consideration to this application.
“We’ve been arguing for some time that turbines have a negative impact on this landscape.“ The society recently spoke out against the number of turbines proposed for the area, which attracts tourists from around the world eager to see the moorland landscapes that inspired the literary sisters.
Mrs McDonald added: “The Bronte Society has objected to a number of wind farm proposals this year on the grounds of skyline pollution and the potential for damage these towering structures have on the tourist economy of the area.
“This decision in respect of the single turbine in Oxenhope gives support to the Bronte Society’s argument that this is a special and unique landscape that needs to be protected.”
Planners also felt the Oxenhope scheme could harm the area’s wildlife. It would be located just 210 metres from the South Pennine Moors Special Protection Area, described as an “internationally important” site for birds.
- An application for a 35 metre-tall wind turbine near Denholme has been submitted to Bradford Council. The Holmes and Richardson families have applied to build the three-bladed structure at Far Shay Farm in Brighouse and Denholme Road. They say it will not only power the farm but also feed electricity back into the National Grid.