Plan for five wind turbines look set for approval

PLANS to install five 3MW turbines with a maximum height of 125m for 25 years have been recommended for approval by Calderdale Council despite strong objections.

Coronation Power Ltd want to install them on Todmorden Moor, Flower Scar Road, along with ancillary infrastructure including crane hardstandings, control buildings, a substation, underground cables and permanent monitoring mast.

In 2007 an application was submitted for installation of five turbines.

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However, according to a report by Geoff Willerton, head of planning, ''following a public inquiry an appeal against non-determination was dismissed in October 2009 but on a legal technicality which the current application seeks to overcome.

''Although the original application was refused on appeal, the reasons given by the planning inspector were mainly concerned with the red line of the planning application area not allowing sufficient space for the construction of the wind farm... the inspector did state, however, that the need for and benefits of the original proposal outweighed the adverse effects.''

Sixty-seven objections were received included alleged damage to the blanket bog habitat, potential pollution of the water courses, loss of tourism and devaluation of property.

Todmorden Town Council's members recommended refusal for several reasons including the claim that extensive mine workings on the moor and many unchartered old shafts meant the moor was unstable.

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Three hundred and eight letters of support were also received which claimed the application would reduce the need for nuclear power and would create employment.

Calderdale councillor Ian Cooper, (Con, Todmorden), said: ''I am rather disappointed that officers should be minded to support it though I do accept that they do appear to be guided by the inspector's judgment at the last appeal.

"That being said, I find myself completely opposed to the inspector's opinion.

''First of all I think the damage to the peat and the effect on the carbon sink would be irrecoverable.

"I am not convinced that the argument to efficiency has been proved and I support the view that these are exaggerated claims.''

Calderdale's planning committee will debate the proposal on January 11.