Doing nothing not an option

AS the applicant for the wind turbine at Crimsworth Dean I would like to respond to Mr Beasley’s letter printed in the Hebden Bridge Times of December 8.

There is little purpose in arguing the environmental pros and cons of wind energy as the real argument boils down to those who believe that we must at least take whatever steps are available to us to combat climate change and those who simply don’t like the look wind turbines no matter what size.

I will therefore reply only to correct some of the information provided in Mr Beasley’s letter.

Our 2009 application was withdrawn in order to re-assess the options for renewable energy for our farm. We subsequently submitted a listed building application for photovoltaic panels but unfortunately this was refused by Calderdale.

The bird survey as requested by Calderdale was undertaken in 2010 but was incomplete at the time of the withdrawal.

This was undertaken by a consultant ornithologist and has been submitted as part of the current application. The report states that Twite, Merlin and Short Eared Owl are to be found about one to two miles to the north east of the proposed turbine and that, in the opinion of the ornithologist, the turbine would not cause a problem to these species.

The report concludes that the field in which the turbine is to be sited could be improved and a diversity of grasslands around the moorland edge could be encouraged. A return to old hay meadow management and re-introduction of traditional plant species would help the local breeding bird/wildlife populations.

The report recommends that this work be carried out after the turbine is in place and this we have agreed to do.

The document ‘Bats and onshore wind turbines’ published by Natural England states that domestic turbines pose a low risk to pipistrelle bats.

The issue of visibility is subjective. There are numerous overhead power lines, telegraph poles and transformers within the vicinity of the proposed turbine. These appear to have been accepted without question as we demand the electricity to power our homes.

Wind turbines are undoubtedly very emotive and I will never convince Mr Beasley to accept one in the area of his home. Equally I spend my professional life advising clients on how to make their properties energy efficient and sustainable and believe that as such I have an obligation to do all that I can to make my own property sustainable.

The proposed turbine, together with a ground source heat pump, will enable me to turn a farm built in 1611 into a zero carbon dwelling. This may not ‘save the world’ but doing nothing is no longer an option for my family.

Ian Leaper,

Crimsworth.