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'Tell us more' plea over wind farms

Bacup residents are demanding more information before backing a scheme that could see the town owning part of a wind farm.

Coronation Power, the London company planning wind farms near Bacup, Todmorden and Wardle, held a meeting after Micro-generation Yorkshire and the Hebden Bridge Alternative Technology Centre approached Coronation with the suggestion that people living in the surrounding area should buy into the five-turbine wind farm proposed for Todmorden Moor.

Coronation wanted to gauge levels of interest, and share information about the next steps.

More than 30 people attended the meeting at Todmorden Town Hall, including members of Bacup Consortium Trust, whose chairman Di Van Ruitenbeek, said: “We would be interested in taking the idea forward if the project goes ahead, but only if it applied to all three of Coronation’s sites, otherwise there would be no benefit to the people of Bacup.

“At this early stage the suggestion does not apply to the proposed farm at Reaps Moss in Britannia, as that is the one which affects us.

“Coronation Power needs to provide a lot more information about the finances and a business plan before we can be confident it will be a good investment for the Bacup community. From the Bacup Consortium point of view we are very interested in developing social enterprise and the concept also fits in with the “eco town” idea in the Bacup, Stacksteads and Britannia masterplan.

“But if we went ahead with it, we would have to attract funding which would take up a lot of voluntary time so to justify that we need to be satisfied it’s a good enough investment.”

The community would own up to a fifth of the wind farm shares, and would therefore get up to a fifth of the profits.

Barnaby Fryer of Microgeneration Yorkshire described the plan as “a golden investment opportunity for local people.”

Charley Rattan from Coronation Power said: “The meeting showed that people are keen to share in the benefits of wind farm generation, and all credit must go to Microgeneration Yorkshire for suggesting this exciting initiative.”

A second meeting will be held in the New Year to take forward the proposal.

Coronation intends to submit planning applications for the schemes at Reaps Moss, Todmorden Moor and Crook Hill in January.

By Deborah Lewis