New wind turbines would be taller than Big Ben

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The primary intention of this letter is to make the wider community aware of the proposal to erect three 126m high wind turbines on Delph Hill, Todmorden Road, Briercliffe, and to ensure the decision-making process takes into account the full views of the residents of Burnley and surrounding areas.

We are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by beautiful open unspoilt countryside for everybody to enjoy. However, in recent years, the number of wind turbines erected around the area has increased dramatically. This proposal will negatively affect infrastructure, wildlife, local residents and the overall aesthetic appearance of beautiful moorland countryside.

Each proposed wind turbine is a huge 126m high, which is nearly three times higher than the 47m wind turbines at Coal Clough windfarm, above Cliviger. At 126m high the turbines will be considerably taller than the tower which holds Big Ben and similar in height to the London Eye and Blackpool Tower.

The developers state they will donate money to local charities. These subsidies are paid for by you in your electricity bills. Effectively the community is getting its own money back minus a significant percentage to the landowner.

Once these three “super turbines” are built where does it stop? This has been evidenced in other local windfarms such as Scout Moor and Hameldon where planning applications have been submitted and accepted to expand the existing windfarms considerably. The development may be three turbines for now but once permission is granted this will open the door to many more being added.

Although proposals for such windfarms state the purpose as “renewable energy” this is not an entirely accurate classification. Many proposed developments are primarily about reaping financial subsidies, from your electricity bill, for the landowner. Electricity from windfarms can be unreliable and cannot be stored. Wind is an intermittent and unpredictable energy source that requires at least 90% back-up from reliable controllable energy sources.

The local council has distributed the statutory planning consultation letters to local homes, however this proposal affects everybody who lives in Burnley and the surrounding areas and they may not have been made aware of this proposed development. At a recent presentation, by the developers and landowner, huge mock-up photos of the proposed wind turbines were displayed around the room – in many of these photos the turbines towered over the whole town dominating the landscape, including being clearly seen from Towneley Hall.

I urge you, even if you do not live in close proximity to the proposed site, to ask yourself “what’s in it for the local community of Burnley?” If the answer is nothing other than potential noise, loss of view or amenity, reduced property values and infrastructure extension then please question why you and your local community are worse off in order that a landowner and developer can benefit?

The proposals can be accessed by visiting Contact Burnley, 9 Parker Lane, Burnley. You can also access the plans via the website at www.burnley.gov.uk/planning. The reference for the plans is: APP/2014/0114. The closing date for consultation is April 17th 2014.

Jennifer Jones

Burnley