MP and residents hit out at plan for 252ft wind turbine

RESIDENTS have had their say on plans for a 252ft-high wind turbine on a hilltop in West Yorkshire.

Opposition to the application for a turbine off Swales Moor Road at Swales Moor, between Halifax and Queensbury, includes an MP, conservation groups and dozens of residents who claim it will dominate the skyline for miles around.

Leo Group Ltd, the applicant, argues the scheme will help reduce pollution and contribute towards green energy targets.

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The Shibden Valley Society is among those criticising the plans.

The society said: “This turbine would dominate the Shibden Valley and would seriously intrude on the bare hilltops viewed from many surrounding areas including Queensbury, Illingworth, Ovenden, Highroad Well and Savile Park, thus damaging the settings of Halifax and the Akroyden Conservation Area.”

Bradford MP Gerry Sutcliffe has written to Calderdale Council saying the structure will dominate the Queensbury skyline.

He complained that many local people were not aware that the application had been submitted.

Stump Cross residents Pat and Geoff Horrocks-Taylor, who run a bed and breakfast business, said in a letter to the council: “Our guests from home and abroad value the many walks in this green belt area... please do not let short-term gain ruin one of the rare unspoilt areas of Calderdale.”

The council denied that consultation with residents living further afield had been poor.

Head of planning and highways, Geoff Willerton, said: “We have let people know about the planning application in a variety of ways, including site notices, a Press notice, information on the council’s website and letters to residents.

“This is above and beyond the legal requirement for publicising planning applications. Although the formal publicity period has now passed, anyone who wants to comment on the application can still do so.” All comments would be taken into account until a decision is made which is expected to be early in December.

A planning document submitted as part of the Leo Group’s proposal says the wind turbine would make “a contribution to the reduction of atmospheric pollution, though the effects will not necessarily be felt in the immediate locality”.