Conservative councillors in Colne are encouraging residents to take part in an online wind turbine debate.
This comes after the Colne Times sparked discussions in the paper last week - after receiving mixed reactions over a new application for a 50kw turbine at Buttock Laithe Farm, in Coal Pit Lane, Trawden.
The online debate can be joined by using the hashtag #TheColneWindDebate on Twitter, or by visiting colneconservatives.wix.com/wind
Writing on Twitter, Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney said: “We want to hear your views on the Wind Energy debate in Colne you can register your views here.”
And on the Colne Conservatives website it questions: “Do Wind Turbines spoil our countryside, or are they a modern beauty? Do they support the local economy via the farms they are placed on, or is it a case of the only winner is the developer? Is the Colne area being subjected to a wind farm through the back door, or are these one off small installations?”
Residents have been raising their fears over the latest application for Buttock Laithe Farm - with concerns including the fact turbines could lead to an increase in energy bills, could cause a blight on the landscape, and could lead to a “wind farm by stealth”.
Responding, site finder for DC21 Group Ltd Jon Roche, who said DC21 will be taking the application to appeal if it is refused, said: “This turbine is small scale and will not spark a wind farm. It is impossible to build a wind farm by stealth because the council have to publish the applications. From my house I can see the wind turbine site from six windows and it will not affect the value of my property.
“Everyone has a duty to embrace renewable energy no matter where we live. This small turbine is better than having other large scale developments such as fracking that occupy around five acres of land, needs constant water deliveries and smashes the very foundations of Trawden to extract gas 24 hours a day.”
Other responses to the Buttock Laithe Farm application this week include:
• Neil Schofield (53), spokesman for Residents Against Gibhill Exploitation (RAGE): “We are not anti wind energy, and we have no objection to small scale turbines. It is industrial sized ones that are the problem. “This one would be far too large and could not possibly be absorbed into the countryside.
“They split communities, and while they carry on putting them up we are not finding a renewable solution.”
• Coun. Graham Waugh, chairman of Colne and District Committee: “I wouldn’t say I’m against this one, but I wouldn’t say I’m for it.
“What I do find wrong about these applications is that they say they care about green energy, and they are doing it for us. They play the green card too much, when the reality is it is about pounds in pockets.”