Waste firm fails to win support for hill turbine

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A COUNCIL looks set to reject controversial plans for a 252ft-high wind turbine on a hilltop in Yorkshire.

Leo Group Ltd applied for permission from Calderdale Council for the structure at its animal waste/pet food facility off Swales Moor Road, between Halifax and Queensbury.

The company argued that it would help reduce pollution and contribute towards green energy targets.

Critics said the wind turbine would dominate the skyline for miles around.

The council’s head of planning, Geoff Willerton, has said the scheme should be rejected because of the harm to the openness of the green belt.

He said the site’s location, on top of a ridge, made it even more sensitive to impacts on the open character of the countryside.

“The impacts on openness are therefore significant. This would suggest that the level of inappropriateness of the development within the green belt is high, meaning that the benefits required to counteract this level of inappropriateness would also have to be substantial.”

The company said the turbine would generate enough power for 414 homes.

The planning report said that from one viewpoint the structure would have an “overbearing relationship” with nearby homes, a point which has been made by residents.

More than 50 people objected to the proposals, including MPs Linda Riordan and Gerry Sutcliffe.

Mrs Riordan said: “This location does infringe on residents’ views from their properties. In that sense, the proposed location has far more negatives than positives.”

Members of the council’s planning committee will discuss the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday next week.

Leo Group said the wind turbine would reduce pollution, although the “effects will not necessarily be felt in the immediate locality”.