COUNCILLORS have called on parts of the Pendle countryside to be re-classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), to restrict the number of wind turbines that can be built.

The plea came after councillors in Colne considered applications for two more wind turbines, in Cowling and Laneshaw Bridge, last week.

Council officers will now ask Natural England if they can look at whether some of the Pendle countryside, particularly that between Colne and West Craven, can be re-designated.

Coun Ann Kerrigan said: “The worry is that we could end up with lots of turbines all over Pendle, I am totally against them.

“Some of the countryside around here needs to be re-allocated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it has not been classified for many years.

“We should not allow the countryside to be destroyed by these monstrosities, which is what could happen. We should not be allowing so many of them in Pendle.”

There are currently 34 AONB’s in England, and it is Natural England who are responsible for the designation of land as an AONB or a national park.

The Forest of Bowland is the only land in East Lancashire that is currently designated as an AONB. That incorporates some land on in Pendle, including Pendle Hill, Barley and Roughlee.

Coun Tony Greaves said: “The more I look at some of the land in Pendle, particularly the hills and ridges around Laneshaw Bridge, Boulsworth and Wycoller, I am astonished that none of that landscape is significantly protected.

“It is a long time since it was categorised and designated and there is certainly a case to have it looked at again.

“The area has changed, 50 years ago these were still textile villages with lots of smoke coming out of the mill chimneys and houses.

“Much of this area should be an AONB, there is not a great difference to the Yorkshire Dales National Park, yet there is no protection for our areas.”

Neil Watson, planning manager at Pendle Council, said: “We can certainly raise the issue of AONB’s and designation.”