The looming prospect of the controversial Scout Moor windfarm became a harsh reality this week as the first convoy of parts squeezed its way through Edenfield.
Residents and shopkeepers were out in their masses to watch and take photographs as three giant tower sections – each weighing up to 45 tonnes – were driven through the narrow village streets and up to their new moorland home on Wednesday lunchtime.
However, the first delivery didn’t go according to plan. One of the three long lorries broke down on the motorway near Windy Hill and had to wait for assistance before completing the journey – more than an hour behind schedule.
This comes just days after the somewhat ironic news that windy conditions in the North Sea had caused delays in the first shipments of parts of the 26-turbines – each two-thirds the height of Blackpool Tower – from Germany to Hull.
Wednesday’s convoy was greeted by a police escort as it came off the bypass at Haslingden and trundled at around 20mph to the site.
Neil Murray, project manager for haulage firm Collett Transport, said: ‘The first delivery has gone pretty well. These are the worst convoys; they are the slowest and the widest.’
He said the generator for the first turbine was expected to be delivered yesterday (Thursday), with the 40m long blades arriving today or tomorrow, depending on progress at the site.
Meanwhile, another windfarm plan, for moors above Bacup, looks set to be blown away by Rossendale Council.
Officers have examined the proposal by London-based Coronation Power to site three turbines on Reaps Moss and are recommending that it be refused; a final decision will be made by councillors at a special Development Control committee next Wednesday at Hardman’s Mill, Rawtenstall, at 6.30pm.
The company originally asked for permission to site four turbines, 125m in height from base to rotor tip, but this was reduced to three.
The southern part of the application site is on green belt land.
The council has received 1,325 letters and emails supporting the proposal and 840 objecting to it.
Numerous objections were also made by neighbouring councils and organised bodies including Natural England, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Lancashire Badger Group, the Friends of the South Pennines and Todmorden Moor Restoration Trust.
The report, available to view on Rossendale Council’s website, recommends that planning permission should be refused on the grounds of inappropriate green belt development, landscape and visual impact, ecology and hydrology, and the effect on badgers.
By Lisa Kenyon
22 November 2007
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