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Storm brewing over plans to expand wind farm at Scout Moor  

Credit:  Katie Fitzpatrick, Manchester Evening News, menmedia.co.uk 13 April 2011 ~~

The operators of a massive wind farm are considering controversial plans to expand their hill-top operation.

Peel Energy is considering building more turbines at their Scout Moor site, which is already England’s largest on-shore wind farm.

Studies have been carried out into the possibility of expanding the 26-turbine development on the hills above Rochdale which produces enough electricity to supply 28,000 homes.

Peel Energy project director Jon England says Scout Moor has consistently generated large amounts of renewable electricity since it opened in September 2008. He said: “Peel Energy is committed to contributing towards the government’s aim to generate as much as 35 per cent of all our electricity from renewable sources by 2020, so we are always appraising options that might be available.

“We have considered whether it might be possible to add further generating capacity to Scout Moor Wind Farm and we have commissioned some studies to that effect. At this stage, though, nothing more has been decided.”

Coun Ann Metcalfe, who led a four-year campaign against the wind farm, said she would fight any plans to build more turbines.

She said: “I am desperately saddened by the thought because the turbines have completely ruined the moors. They have ruined the skyline to a great extent and now they want more. Sometimes only a small percentage of them are working. I would object to any extension to the number of turbines. I wouldn’t sit back and let it happen.”

The 325ft high turbines were built on 1,347 acres of open moorland. They are two-thirds the size of Blackpool Tower and are visible from up to 20 miles away.

Coun Metcalfe’s campaign attracted support from the botanist and environmental campaigner David Bellamy, but despite opposition planning permission was granted in 2005.

Source:  Katie Fitzpatrick, Manchester Evening News, menmedia.co.uk 13 April 2011

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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