Green energy blows into town for farms

Rail company representatives and others look at the improvements to Halifax train station.'Councillor David Hardy.
Rail company representatives and others look at the improvements to Halifax train station.'Councillor David Hardy.

Councillors have approved a 25m wind turbine as it will support a local dairy farm.

They went against recommendations from planning officers regarding building of the turbine on green belt land at Crib Farm, Sowerby.

Councillor Christine Bampton-Smith (Lib Dem, Ludd Foot) spoke on behalf of the applicants from Crib Farm at a meeting of Calderdale Council Planning Committee at Halifax Town Hall.

“I have looked at images and find it difficult to understand the objections,” she said.

“This turbine will be stood in such a way that there will be a copse of trees behind it.

“As you look across the valley you see a host of turbines.”

The committee heard that the farming dairy products is very energy intensive so the wind turbine, which will measure 24.8m, will reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills.

Councillor David Hardy (Lib Dem, Elland) said: “We should support our hill farms and dairy farms.”

Councillor Martin Peel (Con, Sowerby Bridge) said: “We have got to take stringent steps to reduce our carbon footprint and help businesses.

“When we have got Christine Bampton-Smith supporting as a local councillor I feel the benefits would outweigh the green belt issues.

“It’s about the sustainability of a difficult business.”

However Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram & Shelf) opposed the plan.

He said: “I feel this could still meet all the criteria we want by having it below the skyline. I move to accept the recommendation and refuse.”

His motion was defeated in a vote and a separate movement to permit the wind turbines with conditions was voted through.

Earlier the committee voted in favour of the installation of a two smaller turbines at Royd Farm, Todmorden.

The 13.8m structures will be placed on hillside close to the farm and will results in 20 per cent savings on energy bills for the owners.

Andy Hollis spoke on behalf of objectors to the plans.

He said that noise pollution was an issue, as well as the effect on the views and local birds.

Councillor Hardy said: “Renewable energy is something we are going to have to live with.

“If this was an 18m or 24m turbine we may have looked at it in a different way.”