Dear **Letting Agent**
This afternoon I viewed a property in Tinshill, which I was on the verge of deciding would be perfect for me. However, on looking out of the bedroom window, beyond Leeds-Bradford Airport the view was dominated by the huge wind turbines at Ovenden Moor Wind Farm, some 17 miles away. Unfortunately, the unpleasant sight of these turbines, and their potential impact on my health and well-being, means that the property is essentially uninhabitable.
I am writing this to inform you of the impact of wind turbines on the desirability of this property, and I am CCing this letter to Leeds and Calderdale Councils so that they too are aware of the issue. The wind turbines have a more negative impact on the environmental quality of the property than even the airport. Speaking for myself, on looking out of my bedroom window at the faraway hills, I would feel deeply unhappy to have the views degraded by a huge, intimidating industrial wind farm, especially knowing the health implications, as proven by the Cape Bridgewater Study.
I just wanted to place on the record that it was specifically the blight from the wind turbines of Ovenden Moor Wind Farm that have made the property undesirable for me, on every other level it would have been perfect for my needs. I thought you should know the honest feedback of the public, and how the view of wind turbines makes at least one potential customer look elsewhere for a property.
Mr **Peak Protection**
Right, that’s gone to the letting agents, with CC’s to Leeds and Calderdale Councils. Meanwhile, Kirklees Council have come back to me saying they are struggling to identify the three massive wind turbines that cast their shadow flicker over the M62, the ones that you can see from ten miles away. I’ve offered them a helping hand:
Dear Kirklees Council
Thank you for your prompt reply. The three turbines are located at Daisy Lea Farm, adjacent to the M62 immediately to the west of the A640 overbridge. They cannot be missed!
I believe this is the correct application, but there are some discrepancies, as this only relates to the erection of one turbine. Was the application modified at any point to add another two turbines to the existing application for one? Also, did the height of the turbine change since this original application?
Some of these statements in the Environmental Assessment certainly do not appear to be accurate.
4.2 The study found that the aggregated visual impact for the visual amenity assessment of near distance views (within 1km) for the construction phase and operation is moderate; the middle distance aggregation (1km to 2.5km) is moderate, and the distant view aggregation (2km to 5km) is zero. It notes that “Fundamental change at the site will result from the erection of the turbine as a new vertical structure in the landscape. The site is visible to varying levels of significance in the landscape. There is no major visual impact on the M62. There are a number of other vertical features in the landscape that are more prominent than the proposed turbine”
This absolutely does not describe the visual impact that is currently extant. There IS a major, and highly distracting visual impact on the M62, to the point where it feels highly dangerous driving past these turbines when they are spinning fast. I certainly don’t pay my road tax to have any unnecessary road side hazards installed. Also, the three turbines are by far the most prominent features on the landscape from the higher ground to the west of the site (National Trust land). Just because the turbines themselves might not be in protected land, due to the terrain of the area, their visual impact destroys the beauty of the landscape.
THEY HAVE A WORSE IMPACT ON THE LANDSCAPE THAN A SIX-LANE MOTORWAY!!!
4.3 The report concludes that This is an application for a single wind turbine. There are other existing vertical structures in the area. Views are limited to near/ middle distant views (less than 2500m) due to the terrain. There are numerous power lines and poles within the survey area which will detract from the overall impact of this additional turbine. Visual impact will be moderate/slight but significant at Location 1 (i.e. at close range from the A640 New Hey Road). Cumulative impact is classed as Combined It is felt that the erection of this turbine will not create any significant change in cumulative impact, as this is outweighed by the numerous other vertical structures nearby.
Again, this does not relate to what we now have. There IS cumulative impact, between this and the surrounding wind turbines, the whole area is now surrounded by a “ring of steel”, exactly the same as the landscape south of Holmfirth, which is now almost unvisitable due to the alienating wind blight.
Kirklees Council needs take a long, hard look at the wind blight that is ravaging the open countryside of the region. Why has it allowed so many inappropriate man-made vertical structures, plastered in high-visibility white paint, to wreck the landscapes?
And “climate change” is no excuse – the carbon footprints of all wind turbine applicants would be reduced to ZERO were they refused permission for the turbines and as a result forced out of business. The only solution wind turbines provide is to prop up failing businesses at the expense of everyone else. I for one would rather you’d turned down the three turbines at Daisy Lea Farm. They are of no benefit to me whatsoever, only detriment to my safety, health and well-being
Please do investigate this awful blight, and please do find out how come there are three towering turbines at the location where planning permission was only approved for one.
Mr **Peak Protection**
How long is it going to take me to finally get round to describing Coronation Power’s attempts to colonise each and every square inch of South Pennine moorland? I keep getting distracted by turbines, every which way I turn. Whether it be going to rent a property, or driving to work, or trying to relax in the countryside, or just browsing Facebook…there’s nothing but wind blight all around me! Where in the world can we go to escape? Where can we go to be nowhere near the damn things? Just, you know, that old-fashioned Green idyll of a field with some trees, maybe some animals, and NO BLOODY ELECTRICITY GENERATORS PLASTERED IN HIGH-VISIBILITY WHITE PAINT!!!
Is there any sanctuary? Well, up until about ten years ago, the Peak District was my “safe space”. I’ll devote a future chapter to one of the most disgustingly-located wind farms of the lot, Carsington Pastures (thank you Mr Robin Brooks of the Planning Inspectorate, for overturning the almost unanimous decision of Derbyshire Dales to reject the power station, after all, you’re right…the visitors to the Peak District will barely even notice four 200 metre tall wind turbines, visible as far away as Hallam Moors for crying out loud!!!).
UNBELIEVABLE CONTEMPT FOR EVERYTHING THAT NATIONAL PARKS STAND FOR.
ROBIN BROOKS (WHO USED TO BE A PLANNING INSPECTOR BEFORE GETTING THE “GOLDEN HANDSHAKE”) NEEDS TRACKING DOWN AND EXPOSING.
YOU CAN RUN, MR BROOKS, BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE.
Come on lads, let’s get out the Semtex and blast the unwanted junk at Carsington Pastures till it explodes into a million fragments. Nothing morally wrong with that – it’s ethically on a par with wiping graffiti from a wall, or picking up dog mess from the park. Just improving the environment for everyone else. Unfortunately I don’t know where to get Semtex from, so my explosive of choice is my vocabulary. I’m happy to detonate the wind farm with incendiary prose. It’ll have the same effect in the long run, it’ll force the owners to skedaddle, if they value their liberty. It just takes a bit longer to do it this way. It also saves the Peak from any further eco-destruction, keeping this showdown out here in cyberspace, rather than on the moors themselves.
Following the Kinder Trespass of 1932, one of the most important moments in the UK’s social history, the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was passed in 1949. This led to the formal designation of the Peak District as the UK’s first National Park on 17 April 1951. That’s nineteen long years between the protest and the law catching up. I don’t think it’ll take that long to see the back of toxic wind farms, to be honest. At this rate they’ll be outlawed in under a decade.
Kinder Scout is the highest mountain in the Peak, one of only three to qualify as a Hewitt (Hills in England, Wales and Ireland of Two Thousand feet…) It’s also a Marilyn, one of the most famous and most climbed in the country. Not only does this prove that hillwalkers give their peaks bloody stupid names, it also shows just how important Kinder’s conservation and well-being is to our own conservation and well-being.
The high altitude land continues unspoilt northwards as far as the Calder Valley, immediately after which start the South Pennines. The Walsden Gorge is the first point north of the Peak where the national watershed drops to below 300 metres above sea level, at the semi-appropriately named Summit. It is the summit of the Leeds-Rochdale Canal, the A6033 Todmorden – Littleborough Road and the Halifax – Manchester railway, but it’s also the lowest “summit” between the Peak and the South Pennines.
Our dear friend Freeholds Top lies west of the Walsden Gorge, adjoined by Thieveley Pike to the north, which then drops down to the truly spectacular Cliviger Gorge. I can’t believe this amazing landform isn’t more well-known due to its immense crags and almost Swiss appearance. It’s a geography teacher’s dream! Sadly, but unsurprisingly, it’s not uncommon to see huge turbine blades spinning over the top of the hillsides. Just imagine if they built a wind farm over Cheddar Gorge…
Hail Storm Hill, the one that started my journey of investigation in the first place, lies immediately to the west of Freeholds Top. If you look at it on a map, you’ll see a long, straight bridleway passing east of the summit. Vickram Mirchandani, the brains behind Coronation Power, must have seen this line on a map, and £££ signs would have started flashing in his mind: “Hey! There’s already a track. Shove some tarmac down and we could probably get our trucks up there…”
What Mr Mirchandani singularly failed to realise was that this wasn’t just any old bridleway. Oh no, this one has the mojo. This one does not take kindly to any form of oppression. This is a bridleway you’d do well not to mess with. It pretty much did for the career of Mr Mirchandani, now forever viewed by the public as a failure, an unsuccessful snakeoil salesman chased out of town by angry residents, a greedy and unprincipled man who has brought shame upon his entire family.
By Jove, I think this is the first time I’ve been so rude about an individual in my entire blog. That’s actually not bad going! And even now I’m writing more out of pity than trying to bully him in any way. There’s nothing I can say that will hurt Mr Mirchandani any more than his own bad karma. I actually feel sorry for all the money he’s lost, all the credibility he might have once had, now gone with the wind. The world will forever know Mr Mirchandani as the man who tried to mess with the Cotton Famine Road and failed.
Speaking of the ill-fated attempt to send trucks up the Cotton Famine Road, a councillor said: “This is a disastrous plan, a veneer of gloss has been applied by this company which has a history of putting in these type of applications, and every time they obtain permission the site has immediately been sold on to developers.
They put company profits before the rights and needs of people in the borough who would have to live with the development.
I have never seen a report so comprehensive and the fact there are eight reasons for refusal is overwhelming, and these are comprehensive and valid reasons.
They want to plough up fragile moorland to install these windmills and they will not be able to be removed, they will be there forever.”
So what’s so special about the Cotton Famine Road, and what was so misjudged about Mr Mirchandani’s plans to let hundreds of HGVs ride roughshod over its hand-laid cobbles? For that, you have to go back to the cotton famine from which it takes its name. Here, read this, it says it way better than I can, and I’ve already written enough!
Once you’ve read that, you’ll get it 🙂 But, as always, don’t just rely on the textbooks. Get up there and experience the Cotton Famine Road for yourself.
Sadly, although the restless spirits of the cotton workers were enough to scare off Coronation Power (to the point where they’ve now given up on the wind altogether, boo hoo…), they’d already laid waste to Freeholds Top and Thieveley Pike with their Crook Hill, Reaps Moss and Todmorden Wind Farms, none of them even operated by Coronation Power (talk about external locus of control). Nothing could be further from the idea of a nice, clean, green, down on the farm, Mom ‘n’ Pop wind project than the billion-dollar, investment bank-funded wheeling and dealing that encircled Coronation Power’s schemes. They’d buy up the land, do all the bullying and harrassing of the locals themselves, and then pass the whole site over to some third-party wind developer to come along and stick in the giant voodoo pins.
Luckily, the Cotton Famine Road and the wonderful, wonderful free-thinkers of Rochdale and Rossendale who came together to protect it, were able to defeat the avaricious Mr Mirchandani and his band of sadistic eco-vandals.
Some more reading material:
Cliviger Gorge: http://pygs.lyellcollection.org/content/30/4/375