RESIDENTS close to a proposed giant wind turbine on the moors above Darwen have called on planners to turn it down.

Bosses at green energy firm Temporis Wind joined Coun David Foster and planning representatives at a public meeting ahead of submitting an application for the 77-metre turbine at Prospect Farm, Bull Hill.

The meeting, organised by Coun Foster, took place at Spring Vale Methodist Church in Watery Lane and was attended by about 20 people including Prospect Farm owners Diane and James Mares.

During her presentation, Eve Browning, head of planning at Temporis, said the turbine would have a hub height of 50m and a base-to-blade-tip height of 77m and would provide enough electricity to power 523 homes in Blackburn with Darwen per year.

She also outlined a community benefit scheme that would see £3,000 invested in local projects annually.

Nearby resident Jan Holding was unimpressed with the proposal and said: “My plea to the planning department would be: Do not destroy the beautiful moorland that Darwen has.

“I am not a Darrener but I have lived here 40 years and I appreciate the beauty of this area and the last thing I would want to see is one of these industrial units on the top of Darwen moor.” Gary Mayer added: “I just think it is a crying shame they are going to put that thing in front of Darwen Tower.”

And Peter Laithwaite, the owner of Bull Hill Farm, formerly Whewell’s Farm, said: “I empathise with farmers looking for any fruit they can squeeze, but is the proposed location of this farm on the border of your land?

“My house is closer to what you have proposed than the applicant’s home.”

Retired journalist Harold Heys, of Derby Close, said: “I once spoke to a woman who had emigrated to New Zealand from Darwen.

“She said that coming over from Bull Hill, when you have been away, you know that very soon high on the moor you are going to see Darwen Tower and you are going to know you are home.

“It is heart-rending that the next sight this old dear will have is the sight of a big wind turbine.”

A full planning application is expected to be submitted in the next fortnight.