Giant turbines have started making their way down Edenfield’s busiest street as construction of a wind farm gathers pace.
After the first day of convoys, residents are already finding it a hassle while some local businesses seem unconvinced that they will affect trading.
Market Street is being closed for up to 30 minutes a day for four months as turbines are carried through the village under police escort.
Each day, three HGVs, totalling 132m in length, are travelling in convoy to take components for 26 turbines to Scout Moor on the border with Rochdale.
A single yellow line has been painted on Market Street to stop parking there during the delivery hours.
Peel Wind Power Ltd, part of the Peel Holdings property development group founded by Rossendale-born John Whittaker, is behind the development, which has the capacity ro generate 65MW of environment-friendly electrciity.
But the work is already posing problems for some local people.
A 66-year-old woman with Multiple Sclerosis and asthma, who lives in Turn Village, said she was stranded in Edenfield when the Dial-a-Bus service was unable to take her up Rochdale Road, at noon on Wednesday because of the HGVs.
“The driver said the police inspector had told him he could not drive up there. There are no taxis in Edenfield so I was left isolated. I wouldn’t have gone to the shops if I’d have known I couldn’t get back.
“What’s going to happen if we need emergency services?”
Coun Darryl Smith said he had been asking for information for months so he could inform local residents. He said: “It was only on Friday of last week, literally days before the wind turbines were due to be delivered that they decided to put out a leaflet and even then it has no official letter head, no contact name and no contact number for local residents.
“Residents’ concerns could be allayed with better communication but nobody seems to want to be accountable.”
John Arnold, company secretary of Crown Affair, Market Place, said the salon was approaching its busiest time of year and would not expect the turbines to make a difference to trade.
“We have just seen one go by on its way to the windfarm, it was massive and struggling to get down the street!
“The road isn’t really disturbed too long but anything that makes it difficult for our customers is a worry.
“It’s too early to gauge whether they will put people off coming here. If we notice a decrease over the next few weeks then we’ ll know its definitely to do with the turbines!”
Shop assistant Jane Taylor of Sixsmith’s Bakery on Market Place is all for the windfarm. She said: “We have spoken to the project manager and he said there would be little disruption as they are only travelling between 10 – 2pm each day.”
Pupils at Edenfield Primary School on Market Street, have been invited by the manager of the windfarm to visit the site early next year.
The operation should be finished in March and Peel Holdings believes the wind farm could power 40,000 homes by June.
The company said the delivery hours had been chosen to avoid peak traffic and school closing times. The company promised that if a convoy runs late it will wait at a service station and make its delivery the next day.
The components made in Germany, will be shipped to Hull and transported via the M62 and M66.
HGVS will take the Haslingden exit off the A56 then turn back on themselves and head south along Manchester Road, through Edenfield, and along Rochdale Road towards Scout Moor, where they will be assembled by a crane.
By Helen Korn
21 November 2007
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