November 5, 2007

Startling omission in Ding Quarry planning application

Campaigners studying the Ding Quarry planning application have found a startling omission: Almost 1000 pages of documents have been submitted for the applicants, D. P. Williams Holdings Ltd, as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process. However, there is no specific reference whatsoever to Scout Moor Windfarm. The reports appear silent and the maps, plans and photographs do not show the huge turbine complex at all – 26 turbines, each totalling 328 feet (100 metres or two-thirds the size of Blackpool Tower) are due to be in place by March 2008.

The glaring gap in the Environmental Statement, a legally-required document that must give an accurate summary of the planning application, sparked Ding Quarry campaigners to investigate matters further.

A visit to the application site has revealed there is a turbine access road running within feet of the disused Ding Quarry. In fact the land around Ding outlined in the 1949 Quarry permission may even be touching or overlapping with part of the Scout Moor Windfarm site.

Campaigners stress their research has created a rough site sketch and clarification of all boundaries is urgently sought.

Photographs shows the access road, between turbine sites 18 and 19, are within feet of old quarry workings at Ding.

There are over 12 kilometres of new access road to service Scout Moor windfarm. Construction commenced in November 2006 and was completed in April 2007.

The new access road complex over Scout Moor is administered by Peel Wind Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Peel Holdings PLC. The access road leads to a compound within the Scout Moor Quarry then onto the public highway at Edenfield Road (A 680) at a junction less than a mile from the M66 motorway.

The Ding Quarry planning application makes no reference whatsoever to Peel Holdings PLC. The application form and schedule of conditions – Part 4 – list the applicant as D.P. Williams Holdings Ltd of Mold, Flintshire. The applicant’s agent is listed as Carter Jonas LLP of Shrewsbury. The surface and mineral owner is listed as The Lord of the Manor of Rochdale, c/o Crossley & Sons, Yorkshire Street, Rochdale.

In an interview published in the Rochdale Observer on 11 November 1995 D.P Williams Holdings Ltd production Manager Tony Cawkwell Mr William’s was asked about alternative routes for Ding Quarry if permission was obtained to re-open it. He answered: “The lease we have secured gives as its access Rooley Moor Rd. That is the access we have to abide by the lease. However, we would as a company, be prepared to consider any proposals that may be put forward regarding alternative access provided that the company’s position was not compromised”.

As part of the protracted procedures in the controversial Scout Moor Windfarm application, United Utilities PLC negotiated an exchange of Scout Moor land by Order under the Inclosure Act 1845.

It is not known whether any discussions have been entered into between D.P Williams, the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale and Peel Holdings PLC regarding the proposals for Ding Quarry.

Rochdale Online

5 November 2007

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