November 20, 2007

Wind farm delayed — by wind

Work on a £50m wind farm has suffered a blow before it has even started – because of high winds.

The first shipments of parts being delivered from Germany to the Scout Moor site above Rochdale were delayed by severe North Sea gales, the M.E.N. can reveal.

As a result, twice the number of lorries will travel through the small village of Edenfield on the first delivery day tomorrow.

The controversial wind farm, given the go-ahead after a public inquiry, will have 26 turbines, each two-thirds the size of Blackpool Tower.

A convoy of three lorries a day are due to deliver parts in coming months.

But the shipment delays mean two convoys are due to pass through the village tomorrow instead of one.

Villagers were informed in a newsletter from McNicholas Construction, site contractors on behalf of Trafford Centre owners Peel Holdings, the company behind the wind farm. The letter revealed that 76 convoys of three lorries each will travel through Edenfield from Monday to Saturday at a rate of one per day.

It adds: “Contrary to the above, two convoys will be delivered on the first day of deliveries due to sea conditions in the North Sea last weekend, which delayed the first shipments.

“It must be stressed that the speed of erection on the moor is dependent on the weather. It is, therefore, not possible to state categorically on which day deliveries will be made.”

The 26 turbines have a capacity of 65 megawatts and will provide enough electricity to power 30,000 homes.

Rochdale and Rossendale councils and Lancashire County Council initially rejected the plans following local opposition, with campaigners fearing the turbines would be a `blot on the landscape’ and cause traffic chaos.

Ecologist David Bellamy spoke out against them, but plans were given the green light by the government in 2005 after a 12-day inquiry.

Lorry deliveries will be limited to between 10am and 2pm, passing through Edenfield within a 15-minute window under a `rolling roadblock’ organised by police, with parking restrictions on Market Street.

The first deliveries are due tomorrow, with the first tower sections due on Thursday and turbine blades on Friday.

Turbines will be delivered on lorries with a police escort on the M62, M60 and M66. It is understood the road restrictions in Edenfield will be in place for six months.

Campaigners and councillors say the companies involved have not kept the village up to date with traffic arrangements. But the letter says that `promoters and participants wish to minimise the impact of construction’.

Manchester Evening News

20 November 2007

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