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Large Windfarm proposed for hills above Hebden Bridge
Tuesday, 26 September 2023
What the Yorkshire Post have described as "England's biggest onshore windfarm" is being proposed. If the plan goes ahead, it will also mean the end of grouseshooting at Walshaw. A planning application is expected to be submitted by summer, 2024.
The proposed site is predominantly peatland of approximately 16,000 acres covering Widdop and Wadsworth Moors, bounded by Cock Hill to the East and Hardcastle Crags and Blake Dean to the south.
The 65 turbines are like to be 150-200 meters talls. Calder Wind Farm claim that this is a fully funded project, and it is envisaged the construction would commence within 12 months of any planning permission being granted. It is expected that construction could take up to two years.
The windfarm is being proposed by Calder Wind Farm in conjunction with the Walshaw Moor Estate. One of the main backers is Wordlwide Renewable Energy (WWRE) based in Madrid. Part of their team is Natural Power whose HQ is in Castle Douglas, Scotland and whose website pronounces in large letters, "Creating a world powered by renewable energy."
If given planning permission, Calderdale Wind Farm would generate 302MW of electricity, which is enough renewable electricity to power 286,491 homes per year. This would save 426,241 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year when compared to fossil-fuel electricity generation.
The group are also exploring the potential for the inclusion of battery storage and solar panels on southern slopes.
They also say they would commit to planting 300,000 new trees across the estate, new water management across the site with the aim of reducing flooding within local communities such as Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, and a biodiversity net-gain across Walshaw Moor.
Once Calderdale Wind Farm is operational Walshaw Moor will be open to the general public to enjoy.
Calderdale Wind Farm says, "Engagement with the local community holds immense significance for WWRE. We firmly believe that engagement with the local community should go beyond a mere formality and instead focus on genuine engagement and collaboration with local people. Through this, we can ensure our proposed development is respectful of the environment and deliver tangible benefits to local communities.
"To achieve this, we want to ensure that, where possible, the community is involved at every stage from planning to operation. Local input is critical to good design, and we are committed to ensuring that the viewpoint of the community is considered and incorporated throughout the design process."
In the 1990s, there were more modest proposals for a similar area around Cock Hill which were very hotly disputed, and which were ultimately not constructed.
The Scoping Report is now available here
Turning Calderdale Green blog post: Walshaw Moor Estate owner Richard Bannister looks to swap 5,300 brace of red grouse for 65 x 150-200m wind turbines
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