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Turbine group ready to fight on  

Saddleworth Moors Action Group (SMAG), established to fight a planning application for wind turbines on Denshaw Moor, has pledged to continue in existence until there is no risk of further wind farms in the district.

At SMAG’s annual meeting, members backed the committee’s show of strength by re-electing it en-bloc for a second year in office.

Chairman David Makin told the meeting: “We have opposed, and will oppose, any other applications for wind turbines on the Saddleworth countryside.

“We are keeping a fighting fund for if E.ON, or any other developers, come back to make money out of despoiling our environment with a useless technology.

“We keep in touch with our MP and Euro-MP, both of whom still agree that ruining the landscape is too big a price to pay.

“So, SMAG is here for the foreseeable future to try and stop any of these inappropriate schemes in this precious strip of country between Leeds and Manchester.

“If, and when, the threat goes away we shall decide on our future direction.”

Energy giant E.ON withdrew its objection to Oldham Council’s refusal to allow its seven 350ft wind turbines above Denshaw about a month before the scheduled public inquiry last summer.

By this time SMAG had incurred considerable costs instructing a barrister to fight on its behalf.

The action group successfully applied for costs to the Planning Inspectorate and won its case with E.ON being forced to pay out more than £5,000 in costs.

SMAG currently has more than £7,500 in the fighting fund raised from individual donations and a hugely successful evening with Alan Bennett.

Two donors of large amounts, who have been repaid, have pledged to give money again should a serious threat re-emerge.

Oldham Evening Chronicle

21 February 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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