Green power is given planning green light

THREE new wind turbines are to go up within just a few miles of each other after councillors gave the green light.

Calderdale Council’s planning committee has approved three separate applications in the Illingworth and Mixenden ward of Halifax.

The biggest – thought to be the tallest non-commercial turbine in Calderdale – will stand in a field north of Upper Soil Hill Farm in Ned Hill Road, Bradshaw.

Its tower will measure over 80ft high to its hub, and it is estimated 90 per cent of its power will be fed into the grid.

The second, with a mast at just over 70ft, will provide the entire energy supply to a farm off Cock Hill in Keighley Road, Illingworth, which has never before had power.

Close to 90 per cent of the electricity will also be fed into the grid.

The third turbine, measuring close to 50ft, will be sited at Harper Barn, Bradshaw Lane, Halifax.

Planning permission for it was refused last year. An inspector upheld the decision because of its impact on nearby Bradshaw Cricket Club.

The proposal has since been revised after consultation with the cricket club, which wrote to confirm it was satisfied with the new plan.

Agents for all three applications told of the huge environmental and economic benefits of wind power.

But speaking on behalf of objectors, one man who did not wish to be named, said the spread of lone turbines needed to be stopped.

He said: “Do we really want the whole landscape dotted with individual turbines? We will end up with a Calderdale covered with them.”

Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) also objected to the turbines at Upper Soil Hill Farm and Harper Barn.

Two petitions with a total of 36 signatures plus five letters of objection were sent in against the former, while there were 21 objections against the latter.

He said: “Given the size of the communities we’re discussing here, that’s a large proportion of people.”

All the sites are on green belt land, but Government planning policy states meeting green energy needs should outweigh adverse impact.

Councillors were divided on the two Bradshaw turbines but unanimously passed the Illingworth one.

Martin Peel (Con, Sowerby Bridge), who voted to permit all three, said refusing any of the applications would not have stood up to an appeal.

He said: “If I don’t I would feel that I was potentially wasting council tax payers’ money on appeals.”