The saga of the Denshaw Moor windfarm looks set to drag on after the company behind the scheme announced this week that it has changed its plans again.
The application was to be decided once and for all at a six-day appeal hearing in June, but this is now likely to be put back to October because energy firm E.ON UK has come up with a new scheme to bury some of the associated power lines.
The firm now wants a postponement for more time to prepare a new planning application and assess the environmental impact of the revised plan.
And in a stark warning to protestors, it has already pledged to appeal against any refusal of the new proposal.
Matt Pinfield, project developer for E.ON UK, said: “We’re very aware of people’s concerns about how the windfarm will look.
“I personally think that wind turbines are incredibly elegant structures and by putting the cables underground, together with the changes we’ve made to the design, I’m confident we’ve produced a scheme that will not only have a minimal impact but will also produce clean, green renewable power.
“If the council does reject planning permission for the grid connection then that will also have to go to public inquiry.
“We believe that it makes more sense, in the interest of saving public time and money, to postpone the inquiry and have both applications determined at the same time.”
Chairman of Saddleworth Moors Action Group, David Makin, said: “We have agreed to the delay because we do not want to be obstructive and we are happy if they want to give more information about the scheme.”
SMAG has been striving to raise a £25,000 fighting fund to pay for a top barrister to represent their case at the appeal, but still has some way to go to reach their target.
Mr Makin said: “The fundraising is passable, but we are still a bit short of our target and would welcome any more donations.
“This application is all about money for the applicants, whereas for us it is about the environment.”
E.ON had already reduced the size of the windfarm to try and appease the objectors.
One of the most prominent turbines in the scheme was abandoned, and another reduced in size by five metres.
# DONATIONS to the SMAG fighting fund should be sent to treasurer Graham Sinclair, 31 Huddersfield Road, Denshaw, OL3 5SB.
By James Ferguson
18 April 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding