Final arguments over giant wind turbines

A LAND swap deal to free up moorland for wind turbines could leave users with a quarry littered with old clay and mine workings, a public inquiry was told.

Coronation Power has permission to put five 370ft turbines on Todmorden Moor but needs to set aside replacement land for grazing and public recreation.

Sarah Pennie, for the Friends of the South Pennines preservation group, told a land deregistration inquiry that the switch could affect the livelihoods and water supplies of many who have legal rights over the common.

“We are also concerned about the loss of our peat moorland and the permanent damage done by roads and thousands of tonnes of concrete,” she said.

The three-day inquiry at Todmorden Town Hall was told that the exchange land was an old clay extraction site.

Coal had also been mined there and two deep holes fenced off by the Coal Authority.

Town councillor Anne James said that far from being swapped for the land needed for turbines, it should be cordoned off for public safety.

Calderdale Councillor Ruth Goldthorpe told how Flower Scar Road, an ancient track across the moor, would be almost obliterated by huge new access roads.

Coronation Power says the turbines - three times as tall as Stoodley Pike - will provide electricity for thousands of homes.

They are 10 times more powerful than traditional machines, like those operating at nearby Coal Clough and the Ovenden Moor windfarm in Halifax.