The time for protest is almost over for the planned windfarm at Crook Hill on the hills above Littleborough, Summit and Wardle.
When the planning application first went in, we used words and photomontages to show the effect the dozen giant turbines would have on the landscape.
Now you can see for yourselves. Just take a look over the Owd Betts Road from Rochdale to Edenfield where the first seven similar-sized turbines of the Scout Moor windfarm have gone up.
Even though there are plenty more to come, the damage has already been done.
Once proud Knowl Hill, Rochdale’s favourite summit, is now dwarfed by the towering concrete monstrosities.
Even worse, the moors behind once the lonely haunt of birds like the beautiful golden plover have been scarred by miles of road.
Whether you think this windfarm is a contribution to the fight against global warming or, like me, you think it is a futile and expensive gesture, we could still agree that the Rochdale area has now got more than its share of turbines. To take Crook Hill as well would just about finish off our last area of wild country.
You might also agree with me that democracy comes into this as well. Scout Moor was imposed on us against local wishes and – if we don’t protest enough – the same will happen again.
Here are some other reasons to kick up a fuss:
* The Rochdale Way footpath and Pennine Bridleway (a national trail already bringing tourists and their money to the area) will be spoiled by it
* The area would face a year of serious traffic disruption with thousands of lorries carrying stone and cement to the site from junction 21 of the M62 motorway at Milnrow along roads that are already too busy. This will also result in huge carbon dioxide emissions
* The lorries would (after coming along Whitelees Road and Calderbrook Road) enter tiny lanes that vehicles already find difficult to negotiate and an extremely narrow gap at St James’ Church
* Moorland birdlife will be badly affected – particularly at breeding time
* Delicate peat bogs (ironically major carbon stores) will be degraded or destroyed releasing their carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
It’s time to get writing!
HOW TO PROTEST
Send your letter (three copies in one envelope) making sure that you refer to Wind Turbines at Crook Hill, Wardle, Rochdale, and quote the reference number APP/P4225/A/08/2065277.
The letter should go to:
The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/18A, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6PN.
Letters can be handwritten or typed. People using computer printers are asked to use 11 point Arial font. Your letter needs to reach the inspector by March 21.
Richard Catlow, Editorial Director, Rochdale Observer
8 March 2008
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