OPPOSITION is growing to plans for a massive wind farm on moorland bordering Bronte country.

More than 350 artists, writers, actors and conservationists have signed an open letter voicing their opposition to the proposed development.

Signatories include playwright Alan Ayckbourn, television writer and producer Sally Wainwright and former poet laureate Andrew Motion.

Campaigners say the planned 65-turbine development on Walshaw Moor, between Stanbury and Hebden Bridge, would have a "profound" environmental and visual impact.

Objectors include the Haworth-based Bronte Society, which fears the project would ruin the landscape for millions of people from across the world who visit to experience the surroundings that inspired the literary siblings and see ruined farmhouse Top Withens, reputedly the inspiration for the setting of Wuthering Heights.

The open letter – to the Times Literary Supplement – has been co-ordinated by the Boggarts, an affiliation of artists and writers opposing the scheme.

In the letter, they say the area is one of "international literary significance and ecological importance" and at 200 metres tall, the turbines would be "two-thirds the height of the Eiffel Tower" and "visible for 40 kilometres".

They add: "This is a unique, highly protected, priority habitat. The turbines would occupy 11 Site of Special Scientific Interest land units. The area is also home to endangered birds like merlin, golden plover and other breeding bird assemblages, including curlews. The peat moors include significant areas of blanket bog; as the biggest natural storers of carbon in the UK, blanket bogs are known as our Amazon rainforest."

But those behind the proposed development describe it as an "incredibly exciting opportunity".

Calderdale Wind Farm Ltd, which is backed by Worldwide Renewable Energy, adds: "It would generate enough renewable electricity to power 286,491 homes per year. This would save 426,241 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually when compared to fossil-fuel electricity generation.

"Any potential risk to local wildlife will be assessed as part of the environmental impact assessment process. We will work closely with national environment organisations to ensure the design and layout does not interfere with sensitive species or wildlife-designated sites.

"We would commit to planting 300,000 trees across the estate.

"As we develop our proposals, we will design the scheme and placement of the wind turbines and associated infrastructure to minimise any disruption to existing paths and trails. Our team has taken into consideration the importance of preserving the natural beauty and accessibility of the area."