Opposition group calls for stop on wind turbine applications following new Scout Moor expansion proposals
Rossendale’s opposition leader has called for a suspension of wind turbine developments in the Valley.
The call by the Conservative group came as Rossendale and Rochdale councils received plans to expand Scout Moor Wind Farm. A joint venture between Peel Energy and United Utilities is hoping to add 16 turbines to the existing 26, making the site a 42-turbine development, which could power over 20,000 homes.
This week, a Freedom of Information request by the Free Press has revealed the scale of wind turbine planning applications sent to Rossendale council.
It has emerged that the council has received 54 applications over the last five years and approved more than half of them.
Coun Darryl Smith, the Conservative group leader, called for the council to put a freeze to any more applications.
He pointed to Hampshire council, which banned all large wind turbine developments in 2013, and pledged to follow suit.
He said: “I think the time is now for Rossendale to do something similar. In fact, it should have been done earlier.
“I’ve been saying for quite a long time now for the council to hold a moratorium for all future wind turbine applications.
“Wind turbines are littering the landscape and we’ve got far too many of them already.”
Jon England, from Peel Energy, defended the Scout Moor Wind Farm project, saying it was important each proposal was judged on its own merits.
He said: “The proposed expansion of Scout Moor Wind Farm would bring significant benefits beyond the supply of electricity.
“We think that a campaign for a moratorium on more wind turbines in the Rossendale Valley is too simplistic and would result in lost opportunity for the environment and local communities.”
Tony Seaford, chairman of the Green Party in East Lancashire, said he was “very much in favour of renewable energy” and disagreed that wind turbines were a blight on the landscape.
He said: “We are all different and everybody is entitled to their opinion. It warms my heart when I see wind turbines.
“We need to make sure there’s a good business case for the general public to see it’s the only way if we’re going to save our planet.”
The FOI request revealed that between 2010 and 2014, the council approved a total of 28 applications for a total of 35 wind turbines. In addition, one application for four wind turbines was approved on appeal in 2011. The decision for one application from 2014, which comprises another 12 wind turbines, is still pending.
Over the same period, 12 applications were refused – seven of them on appeal – and 12 withdrawn.
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