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Friday, 8 March 2024

Thanks to the campaign group Ban the Burn for the following info

Stop Calderdale Wind Farm rally

2.30pm, Monday 11th March, Halifax Town Hall

Campaigners who support onshore wind farms – but not on peatland, like Walshaw Moor – want to inform Calderdale Climate and Environment Team and Calderdale Planning Authority why the huge 302 MW proposed wind farm wouldn't be so great for the climate.

At 2.30pm, Monday 11th March, there's a rally outside Halifax Town Hall to hand in to Calderdale Council an Open Letter about this topic, signed by 160+ members of the public. They will hand in the open letter at Halifax Town Hall before 3 pm, and then attend the Cabinet meeting which is discussing a Defra grant for a landscape scale nature restoration development project, to run over the next two years in Calderdale and Colne valleys.

Campaigners say that a huge wind farm on Walshaw Moor's blanket bog would make the nature crisis worse and wouldn't make the climate crisis better.

Calderdale Wind Farm developers say the wind farm would prevent 262K tonnes of carbon emissions a year from gas-generated electricity. But they don't explain that it would also damage the peat and so actually cause lots of carbon emissions. 

A wind farm of the same size on a non-peat site wouldn't do this, and would therefore generate cleaner electricity. Wouldn't that be a better option?

Plus – the UK government plan is for electricity to be decarbonised in the 2030s, and when that happens, the windfarm on peat won't prevent high carbon emissions from gas-generated electricity. Instead, it'd risk displacing cleaner wind-generated electricity from non-peat wind sites!

The (so far unevidenced) claim that the Walshaw Moor wind farm would help the UK reach its Net Zero target is the developers' get out of jail free card.

It'd let them argue that the wind farm must be permitted – despite its inevitable damage to biodiversity and flood prevention. Because helping the UK reach its statutory net zero target is an Imperative Reason of Overriding Public Interest.

As part of the planning process, Calderdale Planning Authority has told the the developers they must come up with data supporting this claim. All well and good.

However, there are serious flaws in how this data is to be generated and calculated. The rally will hand in to the Council an open letter signed by the public, protesting these flaws.

It might sound boring – but it's vital. Ban the Burn! – the long-standing blanket bog protection campaign that's coordinated the Open Letter – says,

"We mustn't let the Calderdale WInd Farm developers pull the wool over everyone's eyes. There is no Imperative Reason of Overriding Public Interest for their wind farm to go ahead and damage the integrity of the protected site's peatland habitats, and the red-listed birds and other wildlife that depend on them.

Wind farms could be sited solely on non-peatland sites, and other forms of renewable energy are available to meet carbon emission reduction targets. So banning wind farms on peat wouldn't significantly affect the amount of carbon emissions from electricity generation."

So far, seven different 'Stop Calderdale WInd Farm!' groups in Calderdale and Worth Valley have come together to strengthen their invidivual campaigns against different aspects of the proposed windfarm on the internationally important Walshaw Moor nature conservation site. They are united in their support for renewable energy and onshore wind - but not on peat.

See also:

Stop Calderdale Wind Farm website

HebWeb News: Ted Hughes Estate Backs the Campaign to Stop Calderdale Wind Farm 3 March 2024

HebWeb News: Writers, artists and conservationists oppose windfarm. 23 Feb 2024

HebWeb News: Walshaw Moor wind farm - website launched (30 Jan 2024)

HebWeb Forum: Large Windfarm proposal (Oct 2023 - Jan 2024)

Guardian: What do Saudi developers know of Heathcliff? 7 Jan 2024

HebWeb News: Walshaw Moor Wind Farm Public Meeting 13 Dec 2023

HebWeb News: Large Windfarm proposed 26 Sept 2023

Facebook: Calderdale Windfarm Action Group (against)

Facebook: Calderdale Wind & Climate Action Group (for)

Turning Calderdale Green blog post:

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