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Moors ‘monster’ turbine concerns in Denholme
4:20pm Saturday 1st February 2014 in Keighley
Battle lines were drawn at Denholme Town Council as plans for a 45-metre turbine high on the moors were firmly rejected, with developers accused of “taking the biscuit”.
Owners of Denholme Business Centre in Halifax Road have applied to install the wind turbine to go with a 1,000-panel solar farm already approved by Bradford planners.
But town councillors felt this latest high-profile proposal was a step too far.
Coun Shaun Breeze said: “It’s taking the biscuit. It’s a monstrosity – too big, in the wrong area and I just feel it’s inappropriate.”
Coun Marilyn Foster said: “I was genuinely gobsmacked when I saw this application.
“They’ve got a huge solar farm, which we passed because it wasn’t intrusive, and now we’ve got another application for a wind farm.
“It would be massive and I don’t understand why this has happened. I had no problem with the solar panels but this would have a huge impact on the lives of Denholme people.
“Just because we are a windy area doesn’t mean we should have turbines everywhere.”
Denholme mayor Coun Steve Nunn said he had “two areas of grave concern”.
His first was that no images in the application showed the true visual impact of the turbine, intended for land above the A629. “My second is this would set a precedent and there are no special circumstances for encroaching into green belt by placing it on virgin moorland,” Coun Nunn added.
Anti-windfarm campaigner Anthea Orchard told the open meeting maps used in the application were out of date and did not include nearby properties.
On behalf of the applicants, project advisor Paul Bailey agreed the map needed to be updated but said distances to all properties were contained in the application.
He added: “There are always levels of harm in terms of visual impact with turbines and this has to be balanced against potential benefits.
“The applicant is doing this for genuine reasons. They have brought disused buildings back to life, which now house 31 businesses, with potential for more. Having the turbine will generate power to cope with peaks in use.
“They want to make this into a totally green site and electricity produced will be used there or any surplus put into the national grid and profits re-invested in the centre.”
Stacey Arron, a director of Darvills Removals, was with two other businessmen based at the centre and spoke on their behalf in favour of the turbine.
She said: “We can only see positives in this – they want to make the centre carbon zero and we back the idea.”
Coun Nunn said when the massive solar farm was proposed, the town council was told all the electricity produced would be used by the centre and the turbine seemed like a money-spinning addition.
Centre co-owner Simmy Sekhon said he was taken aback by the town council’s objection.
He added: “We only proceeded with this because of positive comments from councillors who attended our site, so it’s a surprise. It will now go on to Bradford and we hope support will return.” The centre’s application will be passed to Bradford Council planners.
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