Councillors urged to reject wind turbines on Brontë country farm

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Councillors are being advised to refuse a bid to install two wind turbines on a farm in the heart of the countryside made famous by the Brontës.

The move to construct the turbines on 18-metre high masts at Old Oxenhope Farm, Oxenhope, Keighley, has divided opinion.

Bradford Council has received seven letters in support of the scheme and 10 letters of objection. Oxenhope Parish Council is among its critics.

Coun Neal Cameron, the chairman of the parish council, said: “We tend to look at every case on its merits with special regards to the aesthetics of the locality. We are very much an area of outstanding natural beauty.

“The Brontë sisters’ countryside is very important historically and affects a lot of tourism.

“We tend to treat everything how it will sit in its environment and unfortunately in this application the turbines would be very prominent on the horizon in the locality.

“The farm is equidistant between Haworth, the home of the Brontës which attracts a lot of visitors, and the Brontë waterfalls. We support wholeheartedly the fact that we have a dairy farm in the village. We are very keen to support and retain agricultural activities.”

Critics fear the turbines will adversely affect tourism in the area. However, supporters say the development is vital to the farm business and the application will help the farm so it should be supported.

They say that government policy is to reduce carbon emissions from the dairy industry. They claim that “without allowing farms to develop they inevitably decline and ultimately environmental stewardship declines with them”.

Members of Bradford Council’s Area Planning Panel for Keighley and Shipley will be advised to refuse the application when they meet on Thursday.

The farm is next to a public footpath which is part of the Brontë Way and The Railway Children Walk.

Worth Valley councillor Rebecca Poulsen said: “I can quite understand the parish council’s concerns but I do have sympathies with the farm concerned because they are in an increasingly competitive market where to win contracts, particularly with supermarkets, you have to prove your green credentials.”

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