Residents facing a new wind farm fight

Steve Bottomley points across Gorpley Reservoir, off Bacup Road, Todmorden, to where turbines may be situated
Steve Bottomley points across Gorpley Reservoir, off Bacup Road, Todmorden, to where turbines may be situated

RESIDENTS are preparing to do battle over proposals to build another big windfarm on the moorland above Todmorden.

Kelda Water Services, which owns the site around Gorpley Reservoir, above Bacup Road, Todmorden, has signalled its intention to put in a planning application for up to seven turbines with an approximate blade tip height of 125 metres before this summer.

The company received permission to put up anemometer masts, to measure wind speed, last year and according to a scoping report prepared for the company by Arcus Renewable Energy Consulting Ltd at Calderdale Council’s request the company anticipates submitting a planning application soon.

It has alarmed residents in the area and if permission was granted would mean a further large-scale wind farm in the area after Coronation Power secured permission to develop windfarms at Todmorden Moor, Reaps Moss and Crook Hill, with work scheduled to begin this year.

Resident Steve Bottomley, who lives near the reservoir, was concerned about the development and other residents he had spoken to were also worried about the situation.

Mr Bottomley said his home at Gorpley Lane was very close to the site.

“Noise pollution is my main concern because the nearest one would be about 700 metres away. At 125 metres in height, I will definitely be able to see five of them and the topography of the land is that it’s a natural ampitheatre so there will be nothing to absorb the noise,” he said.

“My other concern is the flicker effect of light on the blades. In a clear night sky we get the reflection of the moon too, as well as the sun during the day.

“I am also concerned about a detrimental effect on the landscape and the natural wilflife. There are protected species in the area.”

Mr Bottomley has asked residents and other people who are concerned about the propspect of another wind farm on the moorland to contact him by e-mail - he can be reached via stebottomley@hotmail.com

Kelda have not yet responded to contact from the Todmorden News but the scoping report, comnpiled in January, says the wind farm infrastructure required will include up to seven turbines and associated turbine foundations and crane pads, a main site entrance and access track from the public road and on-site access tracks between turbines, a permanent metereological mast, on-site grid connection (transformers, underground cables and sub-station) and a control and metering building.

It says each turbine will have a generating capacity of up to three megawatts, with a capacity for the wind farm as whole of 21MW.

Two years ago Kelda conducted a review of its exisiting landholdings for potential wind farm sites, selecting sites on a range of planning and environmental criteria.

The company says the wind farm will be designed to operate for a period of 25 years, at the end of which it is expected the site will be decommissioned - typically all above ground equipment being dismantled and removed, cables and turbine connections being cut off below ground level and covered with topsoil.