Power firm wants more of the moors

AN extra slice of moorland the size of two football fields will be needed to provide access to the 12 turbines that Coronation Power intends to build on the hills above Todmorden.

The company already plans to use six hectares, the equivalent of 10 sports fields, for turbine bases, cranes, roads, substations and passing places in and around Crook Hill, which straddles the borders of Calderdale, Rochdale and Rossendale.

The final detailed amendments, which would allow the scheme to go ahead, have been recommended for approval by Calderdale Council Planning Committee when it meets next week.

But there remains opposition from Todmorden Town Council and the South Pennine Packhorse Trails Trust which are worried about the destruction of the moorland landscape, watercourses and tourist economy.

On the other hand, Natural England has withdrawn most of its initial objections even though the huge turbines, measuring up to 370ft to the tip of the blades, would be visible from as far away as the Peak District National Park.

According to Coronation Power, the five turbines on Todmorden Moor and seven on Crook Hill could generate up to 36 megawatts of power.

Tuesday’s meeting should resolve the final planning obstacle.

But a land deregistration inquiry has still to deliver a verdict on whether Coronation Power can set aside replacement common land on Todmorden Moor for grazing and public recreation.

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

Meanwhile, Seven Trent Water has been given planning approval for the biggest wind turbine in the UK at a sewage works near Rothley, Leicestershire, which would be 436ft tall.

Government statistics show that the amount of electricity generated by onshore windfarms fell by six per cent last year, one of the calmest this century.