Campaigners fighting plans to install windfarms above Bacup hope the unusual ecology of the area will be put before any energy benefits.
A special Development Control committee will be held on 28 November at Rossendale Council chamber in Hardman’s Mill, Rawtenstall, when councillors will decide the plan for three turbines on Reaps Moss; a linked proposal for a further five turbines on Todmorden Moor will be decided separately by Calderdale Council.
Friends of the South Pennines campaigner Denise McGowan is urging the two authorities to reject the proposals, arguing there are major concerns including the potential impact on private water supplies in the locality, the likely noise impact from the developments, and the loss of important blanket bog habitat.
She said: ‘There are a number of reasons why the planning applications for Reaps Moss and Todmorden Moor should be refused. Serious concerns have been raised in relation to damage to the ecology.’
Mrs McGowan was commenting after the applicant, London-based Coronation Power, publicised views from a report by Steven Brereton, Lancashire County Council landscape advisor, on the impact the two windfarms would have on the area.
In the report Mr Brereton deemed them acceptable in landscape and visual terms, as previously reported in the Free Press.
But Mrs McGowan pointed out that the report also made reference to the proposed access track to Reaps Moss, saying it would likely have a significant impact on the area’s landscape fabric.
The report states: ‘It is surprising that the applicant appears to have chosen not to use the nearby existing access track which would run almost parallel to the proposed one.
‘It is important that every effort be made to ensure that Reaps Moss windfarm is accessed from this existing track.
‘Using this track would also provide an opportunity to relocate the wind turbines further east and away from the main areas of blanket bog.’
By Catherine Smyth
15 November 2007
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