The application for a twelve-turbine wind farm on Rooley Moor has been refused by Rochdale Council.
Councillors sitting on the Planning and Licensing Committee unanimously voted against the plans at a meeting on Thursday (25 June).
During the meeting, a representative for Coronation Power addressed the committee and described the reasons for refusal as “weak” and stated: “Rooley Moor is the right place for a wind farm. We are looking at temporary effects on the setting and that is what they will be, temporary effects. It would be silly to fight for the same reasons as we did for Crook Hill Wind Farm, so let’s not fight about this.”
The Ministry of Defence also informed the Council of its decision to withdraw their objection to the proposals. In a letter to the council the MoD stated: “The application submitted a technical proposal to investigate the unacceptable affects of the proposed development on the radar. The proposal has been assessed and accepted by the MoD. A suitable planning condition relating to the radar can be proposed.”
Objectors asked the Council to refuse the application.
Nigel Morrell, representing the Norden Area Forum, said: “There are eight reasons to refuse this application. This application is not acceptable and has already been subject to refusal by Rochdale, Pennines and Heywood townships. Please come to a unanimous decision and support the residents and the other objectors.”
Mrs Snowdon spoke on behalf of the Rochdale and Bury Bridleways Association and asked that councillors reject the application based on the effect it would have on the local area.
She added: “Coronation Power will be taking away from this site more than they say they will give. They are promising a dream but this will be a nightmare for many people.”
All three ward councillors also spoke at the meeting against the plans.
Councillor Peter Winkler, ward councillor for Norden, said: “This affects everyone. Not just in my ward but in the whole of Rochdale. I am not opposed to wind farms, but this application is preposterous. I can’t believe that the applicant has come here this evening and described the reasons for refusal as weak. Eight reasons for refusal is overwhelming and this is a good and comprehensive report.
“A lot of people travel to this area and it will be lost if this were to go ahead. Whatever proposals or conditions we have in front of us, at the end of the day, we cannot replace what we have up there.”
Councillor Cecile Biant also outlined five reasons why she was against the proposals including the environmental impact, amenities, the route, the 454 movements that would be made a day to access the site and the conservation.
She added: “I am in favour of wind farms in the right place but in this case I am not. I have never known an application with eight reason for refusal and that tells you a lot about this application.”
Councillor James Gartside also urged the committee to reject the application.
Coronation Power had submitted its planning application for the proposed wind farm to both Rochdale Council and Rossendale Council in September 2014. The original application was for 17 turbines but that was later reduced to 12 turbines following a number of consultations.
Speaking to Rochdale Online in mid June, Coronation Power Managing Director, Vikram Mirchandani said: “If the application is refused, we will appeal it. The council’s own landscape experts have said that this is a good spot for a wind farm so to turn it down now for silly reasons, when they have said it is a suitable site, would see us appeal the decision.
“The same thing happened with Crook Hill Wind Farm and we appealed that decision and it is now being built. We feel that an inspector would overturn the decision so if we have to appeal it, we will.”
Rossendale Council is yet to make a decision on the application.
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