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NEWS ALERT! WIND FARM REPOWER THREATENS BRONTË MOORS The Brontë Society has today submitted a representation to Calderdale Council objecting to the planning application made by Yorkshire Wind Power Ltd in regard of Ovenden Wind Farm. YWP’s proposal includes the construction of nine turbines which, at 115m to blade tip, would be more than twice the height and width of those currently in operation. The Society’s objection on the grounds that the scale and location of these turbines would result in material harm to the character and appearance of the Haworth moorlands, with their internationally recognised associations with the Brontë sisters, takes into account the recent High Court ruling by Mrs Justice Lang that “concern about harm for the landscape was on balance more important than the national need for renewable energy”. The Society further objects on the grounds that there would be an adverse effect on tourism and the local economy. Comments and objections quoting planning application no. 12/00955/WDF may be sent to Calderdale Council (please note : the statement “Comments may not be submitted at this time” is incorrect): -

by email at or online at

(please note that in order to comment online you will need to register and log in first) -

or by post at

Planning & Regeneration Services Calderdale Council Town Hall Halifax West Yorkshire HX1 1UJ

The full text of the objection letter follows on the next page… Please scroll down…

Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD22 8DR Telephone: 01535 642323 Fax: 01535 647131 Email: Website:

President: Bonnie Greer OBE

Planning & Regeneration Services Calderdale Council Town Hall, Halifax West Yorkshire HX1 1UJ 16th August 2012 Dear Sirs, re: Planning application 12/00955/WDF Yorkshire Wind Power Ltd Repowering of wind farm including construction and operation of nine wind turbines (up to 115m to blade tip), construction of access tracks, crane hardstanding, temporary construction compound, underground cabling to network, new control building with substation and anemometer, to replace existing twenty three wind turbines, substation, control building and anemometer masts. Ovenden Moor Wind Farm Cold Edge Road Wainstalls Halifax Calderdale The Brontë Society wishes to state its strong objection to the above proposal on the following grounds:1) The damaging impact of the wind turbines on the character of the Worth Valley watershed, a culturally and historically unique landscape; 2) The adverse effect on tourism and the local economy. The Worth Valley watershed includes those stretches of moorland and specific locations which are associated with the Brontë family and most particularly with the writings of Emily Brontë. They are culturally and historically unique and they form an internationally recognised part of England’s heritage. They also include sections of The Brontë Way and The Pennine Way. The turbines currently in operation at Ovenden Moor are visible from many parts of the watershed and their visual impact is unfortunate and inappropriate. However, the current proposal would introduce to the skyline man-made structures of such increased size that they could, potentially, be seen from as far away as Harrogate and Tadcaster. Seen from all areas of the watershed moorlands they would appear as overwhelming features in the landscape and would diminish the perception of its scale and remoteness. In an empty landscape even small turbines have a dominating effect and the

movement of the blades draws the eye, making them impossible to ignore. The far greater size of the proposed turbines would have a defining and hugely detrimental influence upon the character of the landscape and its setting. The validity of this objection takes into account the judgement made by Mrs Justice Lang in May, 2012 in a case brought by SLP Energy regarding Hemsby, Norfork. The judgement states that “concern about harm to the landscape was on balance more important than the national need for renewable energy”. The area known as Brontë Country, which includes Haworth and its associated moorlands, was formerly a region whose economy was based mainly upon small-scale agriculture and textiles. Since the demise of the textile industry the area has become increasingly reliant on the tourism generated by its literary and heritage associations. The Brontës and their works have, over the last 160 years, inspired worldwide interest which has, more recently, been fuelled by film and television adaptations of their lives and their novels. This interest has resulted in a flow of visitors to Haworth not merely from Britain but from all parts of the world. They come to see for themselves something of the village and the countryside in which the Brontës lived and which influenced their work. They come to see open, empty moorlands unaffected by dominant structures. Any development which affects the foundations of this literary tourism inevitably affects the local economy. The current, inappropriate presence of wind turbines is known to have an adverse effect upon the visitor experience. A letter to the Daily Telegraph in May 2012, stated “Sadly, anyone who now goes on the Brontë tourist trail will be greeted by wind turbines. Brontë Country is no longer worth visiting.” (S. Mowbray) The far greater impact of the current proposal has the potential to cause a decline in visitor numbers leading to decreased incomes from businesses which rely on this tourism and, indeed, the failure of businesses. Claims that the repowering of Ovenden Moor wind farm will provide local jobs are unfounded as once the construction (by specialist teams) is complete, turbines are remotely monitored, and maintained by very few individuals. Any jobs created would be minimal and mainly temporary. The positive impact on the local economy would be negligible and of very little importance compared with the negative effect the proposal would have upon the tourist industry. The Brontë Society submits that the pre-existence of turbines at Ovenden Moor should have no bearing on the decision of the Planning Committee in respect of the current proposal, and reiterates that, because of its scale and location, the repowering would result in material harm to the character and appearance of the Worth Valley watershed and to the local economy, such harm far outweighing any supposed benefits. Yours faithfully, Sally McDonald Chair of Council, The Brontë Society

Brontë Society submits objection to Ovenden Wind Farm application  

The Brontë Society has today submitted a representation to Calderdale Council objecting to the planning application made by Yorkshire Wind...