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Turbine at Old Town

From Karen Clithero

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Last night I attended a meeting at Wadsworth Community Centre. The meeting had been arranged by local residents who wanted to 'plan ways to oppose the new application (for a turbine) at Allswell Farm'. Around fifty eight people attended the meeting and I was encouraged to note that around a quarter of those present were there to support the application. Young people were noticeably absent indicating that the main objectors were the fifty plus generation.

Wadsworth parish consists of around 1300 people; the objectors believe that they represent the parish views when it is they in fact who are the minority. The 'quiet' majority of residents are either neutral or positive towards turbines. Although they are the minority some protestors believe that Wadsworth Parish Council should support their views, when in fact the councillors represent the whole of the parish not just the 'vocal' few.

One objector opposes the planning application at Allswell Farm even though she said to the owner of the turbine at Old Town Reservoir that she liked it and if she could she would have one herself.

Two people whose properties are for sale are objecting to the planning application.

It was agreed by all present that alternative means of generating energy need to be created and adopted. It was also agreed that smaller turbines such as those at Ackroyd Lane and Old Hold Farm were quite acceptable even though on the sky line, as they were less visible than the larger turbines such as at Old Town reservoir. However it was noted that many present had strongly opposed a small domestic 9m 5kw turbine at Pecket Well, even though when asked for a show of hands for who had objected to it only two objectors raised their hands.

It was felt that the smaller turbines were also acceptable as they were for the sole use of the owner, making just enough energy for their needs. Putting up larger turbines to then sell green energy to the grid so that other householders could choose to use energy generated by wind was seen to be greedy, commercial and unacceptable.

It was stated that many residents of Heptonstall, several miles across the valley were very distressed by the sight of the Old Town reservoir turbine.

Objectors were asked if they could suggest ways to generate alternative energy that they would find acceptable. Ground source heat pumps, hydro power, solar and photovoltaic panels were suggested and no-one spoke to object to them.

As the planning application under discussion is mine I would like to make clear some points.

It was stated that the turbine at Allswell Farm was to be taller than the one at Old Town reservoir making it visible from Old Town. Actually the turbine will be smaller, a lower tower with smaller blades. Unfortunately the drawing has not come through from the manufacturer in Ireland yet and so the old drawings and measurements are still on the planning application. The turbine has been reduced in size because of local concerns; according to the manufacturer it will still generate enough power to service our properties.

The turbine has been moved from its original site at the highest and windiest part of our farm where it would be the most effective. As people were concerned about its proximity to the moor and Calderdale Way we have moved it lower down next to our property.

The turbine should generate enough energy for our business and properties, we run two holiday cottages, an equestrian centre with manager's apartment, and a large barn conversion (we have six children). Hopefully the turbine will make us carbon neutral.

It was stated that the RSPB has no problem with turbines and a local ecological expert was hired to study the site of this turbine and the effect on wildlife, her report states that this site does not cause a problem to wildlife.

As we live up here and spend a lot of time outdoors we are in a strong position to talk about local wildlife. There were more nesting birds in our fields last year than we have seen in the nine years we've lived here (a finding upheld by the local gamekeeper).

There were also more domestic dogs let loose on the moors 'for a run around'. If we want to look after the wildlife can I suggest informing the public to keep dogs on leads up here? A domestic dog let loose for a run in the fields last summer jumped into the reservoir and killed all the baby ducklings in about one minute. The owner of the dog could not stop the dog. I witnessed it and it was horrible. I haven't seen any dead birds around the turbine. When there were sheep in these fields another dog went mad running around and tossing baby lambs into the air like little rag dolls. The owner of the dog could not stop the dog, I witnessed it and it was horrible.

The RSPB say that domestic cats kill more wild birds than anything, maybe looking after wildlife starts with our own 'pets'?

As for looking at alternative ways of generating power, my husband has spent several years now looking into alternative forms of generating power. So far he has found that hydro power seems to be the most cost effective so he spent three months researching installing a hydro system here using water coming down off the moor. Unfortunately the quantity and flow of water is not enough to create much power.

Then he looked at solar and photovoltaic panels. Even if we covered the roof of our property with solar and photovoltaic panels the electricity produced does not match our needs. So far photovoltaic panels are very expensive and produce little electricity, hopefully technology will improve that. If we filled our roofs with these panels as one of the protesters suggested, the people of Heptonstall would be treated to a large dazzling glass sheeting pointing in their direction, much more visible than a turbine.

He has been looking into ground source heat pumps. Some people who have installed them love them. Others say they are a complete waste of time and money. However he is still researching them. This system does not produce electricity, it just raises water temperature, you need to use energy to power the water pump.

Wind generated power is a viable means of producing electricity. We travelled to Ireland to look at their factory. The turbines are made almost wholly on site. We were impressed by the quality of the machines and the fact that everything is very well managed.

There were guffaws of laughter from the objectors when it was stated that turbines can be slowed down in certain wind conditions to reduce noise. If the protestors had seen that this company had every turbine it had ever installed monitored second by second by satellite, with all details of every turbine on a massive screen on the wall, and they can power down, trim blades, turn blades instantly by satellite from the factory, even the doubters would have to be thick skinned not to be impressed by the work, ingenuity and technology. However as technology improves new methods of producing energy will emerge and in the future turbines may well be taken down for scrap value rather like the old windmills, pylons and telgraph poles. Until then can we reduce the usage of fossil fuel and nuclear power by the means we have available?

Not long ago protesters went beserk when cars were introduced and people who said the world was round and not flat were deemed madmen. The protestors believe that the turbines will put off holiday makers. We run a holiday letting business and also take holiday makers for hikes on the moors to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We have found that the people who visit us enjoy the fact that local people are working to 'go green'. They are so busy looking at the scenery that they do not focus on the turbines as the protesters do. In the meeting it was stated that people get used to seeing the turbines and they become 'invisible' almost like telegraph poles or pylons. This statement received much jeering from the protestors, but I would challenge any of them to tell me how many telegraph poles they passed on the way to the meeting?!!

The meeting concluded with all people who were approving the application for the turbine at Allswell Farm being asked to leave the community centre, so that the protestors could have a 'discussion on what can be done about both turbines' in private. Around twenty five people stayed in the meeting.

Come on you old grey haired protestors who call people who put up turbines 'selfish', we've lived our life, we should be helping the next generation, they have more years of looking at the scenery than us, if they are not bothered by the turbines why should you be? Are you the selfish ones?

Karen Clithero - Allswell Farm

From Zilla Brown

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Well, Karens arguments for her case are certainly diverse,including some from the last century and the metaphorical kitchen sink.

Arguments such as "There were more nesting birds in our fields last year than we have seen in the nine years we've lived here", well that was before the present turbine went up.

And the facts that there "were also more domestic dogs let loose on the moors 'for a run around'."and "The RSPB say that domestic cats kill more wild birds than anything, and "not long ago protesters went berserk when cars were introduced" are clearly not relevant.

It's natural that people who would like to sell their houses do not want a turbine appearing in the middle of their view,and it's worrying that this application has been put forwards with the old drawings and measurements still on the planning application, especially after the lack of notice and details for the previous turbine.

Her idea that all the objectors to the plan for the turbine were "from the 50 plus generation "and that they were "old grey haired protestors who call people who put up turbines selfish" is offensive and inaccurate.

It is also patronizing to say that the doubters would have to be "thick skinned not to be impressed by the work, ingenuity and technology".
And finally the fact that visitors "would be so busy looking at the scenery that they do not focus on the turbines as the protesters do" well maybe not, but then they don't have to live with it everyday.

Karen states that (the protestors grey haired and thick skinned obviously) are a minority (25 is implied) but goes on to say that "many residents of Heptonstall, several miles across the valley were very distressed by the sight of the Old Town reservoir turbine".

Having waded through all that I would ask people to look at the plans on Calderdale's planning portal and make their own judgment on this turbine - Application No: 10/01546/FUL.

From Rosey G

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I see on HebWeb that the wind turbine at 'All Wells' farm was up for discussion at the Wadsworth Council Meeting this week.

I previously had an article in the HX Courier, strongly objecting to a wind turbine directly in front of Great Burless. I attended the planning meeting at Halifax and I and many more objectors were disgussed that planning was allowed to go ahead in this position.

If the planning dept can give permission for the huge monstosity directly in front of many very old listed buildings I don't see how any one can object to wind turbines on the moors above Old Town. I don't normally object to wind turbines, but the one directly in front of Great Burless I strongly objected to. Because of this I now believe that you can get permission to erect a wind turbine anywhere in Calderdale.

From Zetta Bear

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I've lived in this area for over 20 years and I didn't go to the meeting about the turbine because I don't object to it, despite being over 50. I am, however, intrigued by a couple of your statements. How do you know there were more nesting birds in the fields - is this a general impression or have you been surveying the numbers for the past nine years? Similarly, do you do an annual survey of the number of dogs walked on the moor? Just wondering.... You do your case no good at all by digressing into an emotive account of a dog attacking sheep. It's totally irrelevant and rather than convincing people who oppose the wind turbine to support you it's more likely to make people like me, who didn't feel very strongly either way, wonder why you're having to resort to such tactics if your arguments for the turbine are sound.

From Karen Clithero

Friday, 4 February 2011

I own Allswell Farm in Wadsworth, I also own the land surrounding Allswell Farm. I use electicity to power my business and my properties, I do not use gas or oil. The electrity that I use at the moment is generated by either coal fired power stations or by nuclear power stations and imported to my properties.

Britain produces more electricity from coal than nuclear. Britain is the seventh largest importer of coal in the world, China is one of the largest exporters of coal. Coal mining is the most deadly job in China with an average of seven deaths each day . The coal that is imported to Britain is transported by sea on cargo ships which are fuelled by oil. The coal fired power stations burn the coal which heats water, produces steam which drives the turbines which produce electricity, waste product produced is CO2 which is claimed to be damaging the environment. When the coal is burned more coal needs to be imported. Electricity that is generated by nuclear power stations does not produce CO2. However the government and industry have still not yet decided how to dispose of the radio-active waste produced long term.

Like Sir Bernard Ingham the vocal promoter of nuclear power and derider of all alternatives, I too was in an area around the Chernobyl nuclear disaster area. I wasn't on a nuclear fact finding mission as Sir Bernard was. I was on a charity mission painting a children's orphanage. I was only aware that I was in an area that had been affected by the nuclear accident when the ladies that I was working with were talking of the higher number of birth defects that were occurring and that a lot of healthy young adults were losing good teeth because their gums were softening, they said that the dentists were blaming the radioactivity.

I am in a position to produce the electricity that I use through wind power. I have visited the factory in Ireland that produces wind turbines. The factory is clean, light and airy, the workmen are skilled, their working environment is safe and they are well paid. Most of the components for the turbine are made in this factory, and not imported. The blades are made a few miles from the factory. It is a short journey from Ireland to our farm.

Once the turbine is erected it produces electricity from the wind, it does not need to have fuel brought in constantly as do the coal fired power stations, it does not produce potentially harmful long term waste as do the nuclear plants. I have a choice - or I thought I did. The grey haired protesters want to tell me what I can and cannot do on my own land. They want to prevent me from choosing this source of power over the conventional coal and nuclear sources. These protesters who are so adamant that my turbine will ruin their view do not even walk round here on a regular basis, if they did they would know that the smaller turbine that they approve of at Old Hold makes far more noise than the larger turbine at Old Town reservoir, in fact from a distance of around 40m away. I haven't heard any noise made by this turbine, how do I know this? Because I go past both turbines several times a week. How do I know that they do not walk around here on a regular basis? Because at a recent protesters meeting they were discussing at length the great noise produced by the larger turbines, no mention was made of the silence of the larger slower moving turbine compared with the whooshing noise of the faster moving blades of the smaller turbine in higher wind.

To the people of Heptonstall who are distressed by the sight of the Old Town reservoir turbine several miles away across the valley, I can only say to you that if that is what causes you distress then you have lived a very good, safe and secure life. Now let the next generation get on with creating a safe, secure and prosperous future for their children. Back off grey haired protesters, selfish hypocrites. If you want to continue to import coal and run nuclear power stations then fine, but let us that bother about these things and have the ability to make a change do so. We know that seeing a turbine is more detrimental to you than CO2 emissions, the health and wellbeing of coal miners, the risks involved with nuclear production and the future of this earth for your children and grandchildren; you have made that clear in your protestors meeting.

You were asked if you would like a turbine that would power your village and you didn't raise your hands. A turbine could power Old Town using wind instead of coal and producing no CO2 or radio-active waste. It is power that is produced locally in your own backyard and not transported in from miles away from someone else's backyard. But you are not bothered about contaminating other peoples backyards with your energy production. In your selfishness you are blind and ignorant, wake up, take control of your own energy production. You are in an excellent location to do so, the technology is there, take advantage of it and give your children and grandchildren clean, locally produced electricity.

Karen Clithero - Allswell Farm

Zetta, in answer to your question about the bird numbers we do actually see the land all day every day, we work outdoors and when inside we see the fields from the conservatory/kitchen. We have to keep an eye on the birds because if they nest in the long grass for haylage making we cannot cut the grass until they fly away. Because people say that turbines kill birds in their argument against turbines, I have to reply that I have not seen any dead animals around turbines but domestic pets kill lots, it is not emotional just factual. I do not need to play on emotion for a wind turbine, common sense is more honest. If turbines are the right way to produce electricity around here, so be it, if not we'll carry on buying the electricity produced from imported coal and nuclear. It doesnt matter to me, I'm a grey haired old biddy, I'll be dead and gone before the effects of coal and nuclear power are felt, thats why this generation dont care. I am bothered by what my children and grand children will be left with, thats why I want to produce local electricity with local wind, if the sight of a turbine causes some people major distress I feel very sorry for them.

From Bill Smithson

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Well, Karen Clithero certainly knows how to win friends and influence people in Heptonstall. She must find it difficult to live in a society where the opinions of mere peasants (especially elderly grey haired ones) count the same as landowners.

From Karen Clithero

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Hi Zilla,
In response to your letter, there have been no ground nesting birds breeding since the turbine at the reservoir was put up as it was only erected in the Autumn. I only mention the domestic cats and dogs etc.as the anti turbine groups like to say that turbines have a detrimental effect on local birds and wildlife, a view not upheld by bird and ecology experts, domestic pets do more damage, not that anyone is interested. I mention people going beserk over the introduction of the motor car, to give the example that anything new causes a stir. You say my turbine will be in the middle of someones view - my nearest neighbours are a long way off, and this turbine would not be 'in the middle of their view'. The plans submitted were for a larger tower to make optimum use of the wind, we listened to peoples concerns, spoke to the manufacturers who said that a lower tower would still produce the energy we need and we let the planners know that we could use a shorter tower. We are waiting for the drawings from the manufacturer, as the tower is shorter is this not a good thing for you? I am sorry if you find my description of the protesters as 'old and grey haired' offensive. If you are neither of these why are you bothered, if you are these things why are you bothered? You say that people who live here will have to look at my turbine every day unlike the holiday makers. Who are these people? As I have said before we have few neighbours up here. The protesters said at the meeting that some people at Heptonstall were distressed by the view of the turbine at the reservoir several miles away, if a distant view of a turbine causes someone distress then they have lived a secure, sound, free life, let us give our children the same future. Us grey haired old biddies will be dead and gone before the effects of our energy production will have to be dealt with, thats why this generation are not bothered how their electric is produced. Let us leave our children and grandchildren with power produced locally, my goal is for a turbine/s to produce electricity for the villagers of Old Town, local power for local people. Karen Clithero

From Anne H

Saturday, 5 February 2011

I am in favour of wind turbines where appropriate, I can see the one that's been erected by the reservoir from my window, and I like it. On balance I agree more with Karen than I do with the protesters, though I have a couple of quibbles with what she says above.

Firstly, I was at the meeting on Monday and I can confirm that most of the protesters were middle-aged as opposed to 20-30 somethings, but then so were most of the pro-wind people, including me. It seems quite typical of meetings about anything around here! The meeting was not a typical cross section of the local population becasue it was organised by the protesters for the purpose of putting together an argument against granting planning permission. I was quite surprise how much time was given to debating the merits or otherwise of wind energy.

Secondly, quite a few of us did raise our hands when asked about providing renewable energy to power the village, but the question came a bit out of the blue and while people were trying to decide just what they were being asked the Chairman moved quickly on.

It's my feeling that a number of people at the meeting would like to look into this possibility further - and maybe to take a broad view, looking at other technologies as well as wind.

If anyone living in Old Town or the wider parish of Wadsworth is interested in exploring the alternatives for a community energy group, please contact me and we can get a group together and see if the idea has legs.

From Zilla Brown

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Mrs Clitheroe,

just repeating your arguments vocifariously over and over again and at length doesn't make them so.I can only think you want to bludgeon people into submission to your plans for this turbine.If you have to resort to insults like this you obviously feel threatened in some way and no I do not like the language you use ,its discriminatory.It's a cheap shot to insult anyone who disagrees and label them "selfish old grey haired protestors". Are you implying that age (if that is really is a factor) devalues their opinion? That because of it they are less able to make sound judgements, and if that you insult them enough they'll go away? Such people are the caring thoughtful individuals in society, mature enough, willing and with the time to contribute their wisdom to any debate.

As regards all the "us's" you use, and what people are supposed to have done to the climate,speak for your self.I know how I have lived and have no guilt about this. I won't bother justifying myself to you, that's not the issue or your business.You really have to realise that the world's climate problems, if in fact one believes there are any, have been a long time coming,in fact for many generations before us since the start of the industrial revolution.

Finally,you're using a well known psychological ploy by saying that what you want to do is really for everyone else's benefit when actually you alone will be the main recipient of any profit made from selling back any excess power from this turbine if it goes ahead,which could be several thousand pounds per annum- more than some people's take home pay.It's a money making machine and not available to anyone without a large amount of cash to set it up in the first place.

From Kate C

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I'd like to address a few issues in Karen's posts.

Firstly I have talked to people who are sincerely distressed by what they see as the creeping industrialisation of the Calderdale landscape. They also feel a genuine sense of responsibility that they should do what they can to safeguard this landscape for future generations of people and wildlife. Whether on not you think their fears are misguided you do them a great disservice to describe them as selfish hypocrites.

In deciding whether I object to this new turbine I have asked myself, do the benefits of the green energy supplied to the Grid out way the damage that this industrialisation " by the back door" could do to our landscape. Unfortunately the impact of one wind turbine on the national grid will not even register. All the turbines in the country only generate 2.5% of the UK's electricity production. On the other hand the springing up of these enormous turbines all over the valley is definitely having a measurable effect on the green environment. In this case one turbine has lead to a second and Karen has said herself she would like to install more. Once a landscape has been industrialised in this way there will be no going back.

Karen's desire to be carbon neutral is laudable, could this be achieved with a much smaller turbine, such as a few of those farms on that hillside have? Two of those would, to me personally, be less intrusive than one enormous tower, which I consider an industrial not a domestic turbine.

Karen has stated that she has changed her plans for a smaller turbine. Unfortunately this planning app. is for a large turbine, and she cannot expect people to take her word it will be different. If she wants people not to object on those grounds surely she needs submit a new planning application.

On a final note, I am genuinely interested in Karen's plans to take Old Town 'off grid', my initial feeing is that it is not realistically achievable, but I would love to be proved wrong.

I realise that this post makes me sound very pessimistic about green energy and renewable solutions but that is genuinely not the case. I just think we have to be realistic about what will really make a difference and the truth is we could cover Calderdale in turbines and not see a blip on the UK renewable figures.

From Jenny B

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I live at the opposite side of the valley to this proposed turbine and whilst I can see the one already in situ at Old Town. it doesn't offend me, it doesn't worry me that the Clitheroe's wish to erect another one, and I am leaning towards being in favour of wind power overall.

I am more concerned though, that from Heptonstall, I can see a light display to rival that of a busy motorway service area.

As this is also at Allswell Farm, I am not really surprised that the natives are restless, and perhaps a little sceptical of Karen's altruistic vow to power all of Old Town with her turbine.

As a friend of mine who lives in Old Town says: ' They already provide enough light at Allswell Farm to save us all on the leccy bills anyway'.

From David Wilson

Monday, 7 February 2011

Allswell farm has gone from being a decent size farm house ten years ago, to what appears to be a new village emerging on the hilltops. Now boasting:

  • Farm House
  • Holiday Cottages
  • Large conservatory
  • Supersize barn
  • which has already doubled in size
  • has almost as much outdoor lighting as a small stadium
  • a 'managers apartment'

I think we can realistically say that the turbine has nothing at all to do with the farm's impact on the environment, more so the impact on the back pockets of the Clitheros. Yes Karen would like more, or perhaps need more as with such a large family working on site surely they shall all need 'managers apartments'.


From Andy M

Monday, 7 February 2011

err - this was a free country, with a capitalist economy and a dated but fairly robust planning system last time I looked?

I would question the need for excessive outsdide lighting (a pet gripe) but the owners are welcome to develop their accommodation and power it via a turbine as far as !'m concerned!


From Anne H

Monday, 7 February 2011

I find this attack on the Clitheros rather unpleasant. Since when has it been so wrong to run a successful business, to develop an otherwise non-profitable farm, or to explore new and more lucrative land use options? If you don't like turbines just say so, rather than commenting on how much money other people make from their business!

I feel that there is a huge gap in understanding between people who make their living from the land and those who don't (in fact a lack of understanding from both sides if Karen's comments are typical of land owners round here).

It's sad that there are accusations and unfounded assumptions on both sides.

Karen sees people who place a nice view above the need to reduce harmful carbon emissions as selfish and greedy. The protesters at the meeting were full of accusations against the Clitheros for being greedy - erecting a turbine bigger than they need 'just to make money'.
It's all very personal and rather nasty. And detracts from what could be a constructive debate on how we can all reduce carbon emissions and become less dependent on fossil fuels.

From David Wilson

Monday, 7 February 2011

OK, let's all do as we please with the landscape around us. Part of my earlier post, rightly or wrongly was removed by the editors or I would reiterate that specific point.

This "attack on the Clitheros" is not really an attack, or certainly not as much so as being called a grey haired protester when aged 30! People make their own way in this world, and a comment such as this is one way to gain more unpleasantness in return.

I hope the turbine does not get approved. Normally wind farms are applied for in one single application- this hillside is going to slowly but surely become a full scale wind farm and yes, probably will power the village sooner than we might think!


From Karen Clithero

Monday, 7 February 2011

Sorry to anyone who has taken offense to my words, calling the protesters old and grey haired was not meant to cause the upset that it obviously has, sorry for any upset caused, it was just an observation, I am old and grey haired myself!

Love Karen - old, grey haired, eccentric, Lancastrian off comden, hill dweller with a sense of humour.

From Rosey G

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

I am now finding the posts on the Heb Web site disturbing as I feel it has become a slagging match between individuals.

I do not object to the turbines at Old Town and have seen them from many hilltops around, and I do not object to small individual turbines, indeed I think that all new properties should have their own, if possible along with solar panels.

I do however object to large turbines being placed in front of listed buildings, Re - Great Burlees. Just wait until these go up and then see what re-action people have!!!!

From Zetta Bear

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Having dipped my toe in the water I'm finding this debate fascinating. As a waverer (if that's a word) in this debate, I'm beginning to feel convinced by Karen's argument, even if her style of arguing can be infuriating!
I have a natural antipathy to the sort of commodification of rural areas that holiday cottages and guided walks entail, too, so all in all I should probably oppose the turbine.

But I'm so far convinced by her argument that it's the cleasnest, least harmful way to power her property. No one's suggested a better one here. And if we have to look at the means of generating this energy, why shouldn't we? Isn't it a nasty sort of nimbyism to say we'd prefer other people to live with the far uglier consequences of generating electricity with fossil fuels rather than look at it ourselves?

Some people seem to object to Karen making money out of the turbine. But that's what land owners do, they (try) to make a living out of their land and it's resources. As a dog owner, sheep have far more impact on my activites than turbines but it doesn't occur to me to complain about farmers using their land in that way (at least not seriously).

I admit the thought of one or two turbines feels acceptable but dozens doesn't, but I'm not sure if that's rational.

From Jane Summers

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Afraid I'm one of Karen's silent supporters of the wind turbines up here - so time to speak. I love the turbine in the reservoir field - I walk my dogs up there every day (ooops) and it gives me a lift to think that our wonderful windy weather is producing power. I would like to see more. If they are going to be there they may as well be of a sensible size, by which I mean big enough to justify their existence and power more than just an individual dwelling.

I quite like to use electricity (although try to conserve as much as possible) and don't see why many people seem to think it's OK to use it as long as its production blights someone else's landscape with a coal fired power station or a nuclear facility.

There are more important things to worry about at the moment than whether someone's view is so-called 'blighted'.

I partly did not want to attend the meeting as I feel the level of discussion has in some cases become somewhat abusive, and that minds are already made up. In an ideal world, with no global warming, infinite fossil fuel resources and nuclear waste that has health benefits then I might not support wind turbines.

As for people moaning about the equestrian centre - this is a welcome addition to Old Town in my view. It was a private house before the Clithero's moved there, it is agricultural land and many people can now enjoy the wonderful scenery from horseback and learn a new skill, particularly children and young people - I'm not a rider myself by the way. I have lived in Old Town for 24 years, so I'm probably an 'off cumden' too Karen!

And finally ... the next time Wadsworth Council publicise a meeting it would be polite (to say the least) if they indicated who the letter was from - I tend not to attend forums when I don't know who has organised them.


From Jenny B

Thursday, 10 February 2011

In response to comments that this debate is becoming too personal. 'Sincerely distressed by the creeping industrialisation of the landscape' comes across as OTT rather than evocative. But, I don't think that in commenting on the maybe necessary, but in my view, excesive lighting, of the equestrian centre is having a pop at the Clithero's per se.

In principle, I do favour green power, and personally I cannot see that a whole row of windmills along the top of Wadsworth Moor would detract any from its wild beauty.

I don't know enough about the effects of windmills on wildlife to comment on that aspect either, (although I do know there are strong arguments that windmills do affect wildlife), and in any case, Karen is considering one windmill not a dozen.

As for those concerns about the industrialisation, for goodness sake! The town is rooted in industrialisation and I do wonder if it is only those who came to live here for 'the view' that would suggest that a windmill is somehow to be seen as constructively on par with a nuclear power station?

I also thing that Karen developing her property is her own business, as long as it doesn't impact upon others (which is why we have planning regs).

But, in my opinion, there is still something rather uncomfortable about someone who is claiming to have a green approach to power, and whilst accusing those who object to her plans of threatening the future of their children, is never the less the 'operator' of such obvious light pollution. Which I therefore feel is hardly advertising, or supporting her 'green credentials'.

That these floodlights might in the future be powered by green fuel is of some consolation, but, I personally would welcome a method of reducing this night time glare which is known to cause problems for our wildlife by disturbing their natural rythm. (www.lightpollution.org is a good source of credible information about this). So for me the green arguments that Karen presents are somewhat flawed by the presence of this lighting at Allswell Farm.

To be able to voice that concern via this forum was to invite debate.
Others clearly feel the need to protect the vista of the moorland, and thus find it upsetting to have this disrupted by structures such as windmills. They too are enitled to their views without being accused of 'witch-hunting'. That is what forums are about, and this forum is moderated very well to allow debate, conflicting views etc., without it becoming 'too personal' an attack on individuals.

I think that by being allowed free debate, we can each listen and maybe learn from other people, and also accept that we may all have different views. Instead of being stuck within our own principles and never being open to having our 'not always perfect views' changed

From Karen Clithero

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Hello everyone. I have seen that several of you have mentioned light pollution at Hebden Bridge Equestrian Centre. We are looking at ways to reduce light pollution without compromising health and safety issues.
Karen Clithero

From Jenny B

Friday, 11 February 2011

Glad to hear that Karen.
Thank you for responding to my particular concern. I hope that there is a solution.

From Andy M

Saturday, 12 February 2011

"Creeping industrialisation of the landscape" - a somewhat ironic term to use given that our interesting local landscape character is almost entirely shaped by past industry?!

And thanks again to Karen for responding re: the lights.

From Ian M.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Are these turbines really the answer or just a very expensive case of the emperors new clothes?

"According to latest figures, the 280ft generator towering over the M4 near Reading worked at just 15 per cent of its capacity last year. And although it generated electricity worth an estimated £100,000, it had to be subsidised with £130,000 of public money.

Since it was switched on in 2005, it has been given £600,000 in public subsidies while working at an average of 17 per cent of its capacity."


From Mary Lou

Monday, 14 February 2011

I am quite concerned by the amount of people that seem to be more concerned by the amount of light pollution from this buisness, than the saftey and welfare of the children that ride there. I am also in support of the turbine as it helps the environment.

Keep up the good work Allswell, the children love it.

From Zilla Brown

Monday, 14 February 2011

And I myself am quite concerned about the extremely bright lights being on all night every night at Bog Eigs/ Allswell farm,even after working hours- what a waste of power.

Especially so as it is the cost of electricty to the business (and environment) that has been cited as one of the main reasons given when applying for planning permission for the turbine there in the first place.

I gather that when planning permission was given for these lights (the second much reduced power level for lighting at the business) it was on condition that they were turned off at 20.00hrs.See Application number 05/01033/REM Calderdale planning and also 03/00/855. Health and safety is not really the issue.

From Finn Jensen

Monday, 14 February 2011

I have a suggestion that may satisfy most people in Old Town, however it depends on whether Karen and her partner will agree to this: instead of individual households buying their individual wind turbines the village could buy a community owned wind turbine to be placed somewhere in the UK. Karen and her partner could invest the money they are planning to invest in their own turbine into such a community wind turbine and like everyone else investing it in get a financial return.

There are possible grants to cover some of the costs of such a community turbine. Bank loans are also possible if the community cannot raise all the money. The bank can be paid back by the income generated from the turbine. Part of the surplus profit generated could also be used to make improvements in Old Town for the benefit of the residents. If local residents are willing to have people from Hebden Bridge, etc investing in such a scheme share offers could be advertised more widely.
If there is interest for such a scheme I and others would be happy to help getting it off the ground.

From Andrew Hall

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

At last! Someone with a positive proposal for wind power in the area - a proposal that involves, and possibly benefits everyone in the community rather than a few wealthy people.

One of the problems with this country's wind power policy is quite simply that we don't have a policy! Anyone with land, money, planning permission and wind (and there are a few of those in HB!) can put up a turbine. They can be plonked all over the countryside with no regard for strategic planning, demand, demography and the bigger picture. It's quite simply a random process which is most certainly not the way to satisfy our country's future energy needs.

At least Mr Jensen's proposal involves the community, widening the interest from just one private concern to all local residents. Surely this is a step in the right direction, and one which the owners of ex-Bog Eggs should consider.


From Anne H

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Can I just repeat my offer to put together a group of local (Old Town) people interested in wind power for the community and other energy related matters. We can coordinate with other groups in the area that have a common interest, including BEAT, Hebden Bridge Transition town, dCarb (see Jenny's post) and the ATC. And we could pursue Finn's idea among others. It would be useful to plan alongside the neighbourhood plan for Old Town that is being reviewed on 5th March.

Send me an email if you are interested in trying to generate some of our own energy for use by everyone in the community.

From Karen Clithero

Monday, 21 February 2011

Hi everyone. Thank you to those who made positive comments, they are much appreciated!
All the best
Karen Clithero

See also

HebWeb Forum: Windmills (Nov-Dec 2010)