Plans to build a windfarm on the moors near Littleborough could be acceptable if they were changed to include fewer, smaller turbines.
That is the verdict of a report commissioned by Lancashire County Council into Coronation Power’s proposals to erect 12 125m high turbines at Crook Hill.
The report, which also looks at plans to build smaller windfarms at Reaps Moss, Rossendale and Todmorden Moor, states in its present form the windfarm would spoil the views across the hills and affect the landscape.
But its author, landscape adviser Steven Brereton, adds the moor could cope with up to five, smaller turbines.
The report said: “Whether a windfarm could be developed at the site which had acceptable impacts would depend upon resolving a number of key issues, including turbine siting, choice of mast height and overcoming access track problems.”
“The authority may wish to consider entering into discussions with the applicant regarding the development of a small scale cluster of wind turbines at Crook Hill.”
The report was welcomed by Coronation Power. Spokes-woman Danielle Milne said two out of three studies commissioned by local councils had approved the principle of building a windfarm at Crook Hill.
She added: “We believe we have a strong case for the proposed Crook Hill windfarm.
“If a landscape is suitable for a windfarm this sustainable and green electricity should be maximised for the local community with as many turbines as possible.
“After all there are limited suitable sites in the UK and we should develop the good sites to their full potential.”
Rochdale Council planning officer Richard Butler said the report will be taken into account along with other submissions.
The report has been cautiously welcomed by protesters the Friends of the South Pennines. Spokesman Chris Edwards said: “While the landscape and visual aspects of the windfarm are important they are just two of many objections we have.
“There are also issues concerning peat, noise, wildlife and leisure activities such as walking and horse riding.
“But the major point is that the report says Crook Hill would be unacceptable in its current form.”
By Damon Wilkinson
6 November 2007
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