Scout Moor bosses have unveiled £70m expansion plans – but promised not to repeat the mistakes of four years ago.
Peel Energy bosses are now eyeing ‘at least’ doubling the 26-turbine wind farm, located between Edenfield and Rochdale.
And the new turbines could be larger than the current ones, which reach 100m high.
During the wind farm’s construction phase in 2007, Edenfield village was beset by complaints over a lack of parking due to traffic management regulations.
Jonathan England, development director, said: “It is our intention to use the existing access, which is Edenfield.
“We will try to learn from the mistakes that were made last time.
“I don’t think it was communicated very well in terms of timings and where people could park in alternative locations. And then I don’t think the yellow lines were removed in a timely fashion.
“There is going to be months of impact. That’s quite a sizeable amount of time and we need to put measures in place.
“We will be asking people in Edenfield what’s the best way of doing this.”
Until recently Scout Moor, which opened in September 2008 after a lengthy planning dispute, was the largest onshore farm in England, but it was recently overtaken by Fullabrook in Devon.
John Ayers, of Edenfield Residents’ Association, said: “We are expecting a similar sort of arrangement, although we are told that the expansion will be more to the north and east so the visual impact on the village won’t be as much.
“I think the main feeling from the residents is ‘tough, we’ve got it and the damage has already been done’.
“We are hoping to get some sort of compensation into the agreement, from which the communities will benefit.”
Peel say the expansion will create temporary jobs, boost tourism and contribute £1m to business rates.
They say they are committed to a £1m community benefit fund towards restoring the moor’s degraded peat.
The plans will be displayed at a series of exhibitions across the Valley from Monday, November 28 to Thursday, December 15.
This will form part of the first round of consultation, with a second round pencilled in for next summer.
A decision will be made by the Infrastructure Planning Committee, possibly by autumn 2013, with construction scheduled to begin the following year.
Richard Bowen, Peel spokesman, said: “We want to give people the opportunity to come along.
“We are aware there are some high profile individuals who oppose wind farms. This is their opportunity.”
Turbines could ‘open floodgates’
CAMPAIGNERS have gained support from councillors in their fight against plans for a four-turbine windfarm development in Weir.
Locals are opposing plans to locate four, 47.5m high, 100kw wind turbines at Scarr End Farm, Weir.
They are being supported by a councillor, who says the development, which would lie off Burnley Road, is too close to homes.
Ward councillor Jimmy Eaton plans to speak out against the plan when the decision is referred to Rossendale Council’s Development Control Committee.
He said: “There are a number of concerns about this development.
“Burnley Road is a very busy, narrow road and it is not suitable for access for vehicles carrying materials to build wind turbines.
“There is only a narrow single track down there which would have to be widened for them to be built.
“The bridge over the River Irwell is quite weak and the actual terrain is unsuitable too. There would also have to be access across a footpath.
“We are also worried about the wildlife on Scarr End Farm including deer and badgers which could be greatly affected by a development.”
Residents have set up a campaign group and a website called War on Weir Wind Farm. In September, the council approved plans for Coronation Power to build an access route to the 12-turbine Crook Hill windfarm along the A671 through New Line, Bacup and Shawforth.
Weir residents fear that if the plans for Scarr End Farm are approved more turbines could be built in future.
Coun Eaton said: “If this development is approved it could open up the floodgates for more turbines up there.
“We have only just given planning permission for a development like this in Whitworth which is going to cause a lot of problems there.”
More than 326 letters of opposition have been sent to council planners.
A council spokesman said: “Consultation has now closed and we have had more than 300 response about the application.”
The Green Company was unavailable for comment.
The Development Control Committee will not make take a decision on the plans until December or January.
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