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Wind farm plan for 'Wuthering Heights' region riles Bronte fans

Patrick Ward / Corbis

A small farmhouse in the moors of Haworth in West Yorkshire, England.

Proposed wind turbines that would go up in moorlands that inspired “Wuthering Heights” are generating controversy with the Brontë Society and nearby villagers, according to reports in United Kingdom media.

Thornton Moor near Haworth, in West Yorkshire, would be home to four 328-foot-high wind turbines flanking the Brontë Way tourist trail, The Telegraph of London said.


The moor in what is termed “Brontë Country” was an inspiration for all three Brontë sisters, who lived less than five miles away, the newspaper said.

The Brontë Parsonage, now a museum, was the literary family's home from 1820 to 1861, according to the Brontë Society website.

"These moors should continue undisturbed for generations to come and for the swathes of visitors from the UK and overseas drawn to Haworth and Yorkshire by their interest in the lives and works of the Brontës,” Sally McDonald, chairman of the Brontë Society board of trustees, told the Telegraph.

“The Brontës were passionate about the landscape and the moorland hugely influenced the writing of all three sisters,” McDonald said.

“Wuthering Heights,” by Emily Brontë, was set there, she said. Among other books by the Brontë sisters are “Jane Eyre,” by Charlotte Brontë, and “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall,” by Anne Brontë.

The $19 million wind farm proposed by energy firm Banks Renewables would produce enough electricity to power 4,500 homes, the company said.

Bradford councilors are due to vote on an application to install a data-gathering mast next week. Foes fear the project will proceed and be up and running within 12 months.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said, "The visual impact of a test mast at Thornton Moor would be very slight as it would be a slender structure.” He also said developing sustainable low-carbon energy is vital, telling the Bradford Telegraph & Argus that more countries are bidding for fossil fuel.

Anthea Orchard, chair of the Thornton Moor Wind Farm Action group, was quoted by Sky News on Saturday as saying she was not a "nimby."

"We're used to wind farms here," she said. "But these will be twice the size and much nearer the houses.

In another recent wind farm argument, billionaire business tycoon Donald Trump fiercely opposes a proposal for 11 64-story-high wind turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast of Scotland near his planned $1.2 billion golf resort on the Menie Estate. The BBC has reported that Trump was accused of bullying the Scottish government, a charge his company denied.

Trump called the turbines "ugly monstrosities" that will ruin the coastline and kill tourism. The issue is not settled.

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