withering heights: Campaigners take protest to planning panel meeting

Protesters against the proposed wind farm at Thornton Moor, Denholme.Pictured from the left are Jacob Robinson aged 6 with his brother Izaac Robinson aged 10. Picture by Simon Hulme
Protesters against the proposed wind farm at Thornton Moor, Denholme.Pictured from the left are Jacob Robinson aged 6 with his brother Izaac Robinson aged 10. Picture by Simon Hulme
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CAMPAIGNERS have lost the opening battle in what is still expected to be a long campaign to stop a wind farm being built on moors which inspired the Brontë sisters.

Bradford councillors yesterday voted in favour of a 200ft high wind monitoring mast on Thornton Moor which could pave the way for a £12.5m scheme for four wind turbines.

Opponents, including the Brontë Society, have vowed to fight on, claiming the site is unsuitable for such a large project.

The Brontë Society said masts and turbines would spoil a site of “international cultural and historical significance”.

Two councillors on the Shipley planning panel voted against the monitoring mast plan, including chairman Councillor Shabir Hussain who said the site was not suitable for such large structures.

“I am not happy with 100m masts and wind turbines going up, especially in the countryside. They are very high and will be seen for miles.”

Anthea Orchard, chairman of Thornton Moor Windfarm Action Group, said a fighting fund was being prepared to take the windfarm plan to a public inquiry.

Phil Dyke, of developer Banks Renewables, said: “If it is approved, the Thornton Moor scheme would produce enough power to meet the annual electricity consumption needs of up to 4,400 homes, and would also take around 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere every year that would otherwise be released with the production of the same amount of energy by non-renewable means ... it would also bring a range of other benefits, including up to 50 working on site during construction, commercial opportunities for local firms worth up to £3.8m, and a substantial benefits fund that would help us deliver a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people.”