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Reaps Moss turbines rejected  

A ‘rare and fragile habitat’ persuaded councillors to reject plans for three wind turbines on Reaps Moss, above Bacup.

The blanket bog peat, which was proclaimed at Wednesday’s Development Control committee to be ‘the best in the country’, was listed by councillors among reasons for refusing Coronation Power’s green energy plans.

But Vickram Mirchandani, managing director of the London-based renewable energy firm, vowed to appeal.

After the meeting, at Hardman’s Mill, Rawtenstall, he said: ‘The majority of these windfarm applications get turned down at a local level.

‘When I started business I didn’t expect to win at local level; I expected to win at appeal.’

The meeting was attended by 100 and lasted more than three hours.

Coronation Power was offering £225,000 for renewable energy projects in the area.

But Friends of the South Pennines spokeswoman Denise McGowan said the company stood to make £1.6M. She also described the potential power generation on the moor as a ‘pittance’.

Councillor Judith Driver said: ‘I don’t want to leave a legacy of turbines throughout Rossendale.‘

‘This will be the destruction of our beautiful moorland and it will achieve nothing,’ is how Councillor Lynda Barnes summed up the plans.

And Councillor Peter Steen said: ‘The legacy I don’t want to leave to the next generation is the maintenance or removal of these turbines.’

But Councillor Amanda Robertson was in favour of the plans; she and Councillor Alan Neal were the only two members to vote for the application.

Mrs McGowan said she was ‘extremely pleased’ with the decision.

Rossendale Free Press

29 November 2007

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