The Government has overturned a huge expansion of the Scout Moor wind farm, nine months after a public inquiry.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid MP today overruled Rossendale council’s decision to approve a further 14 wind turbines in Rossendale – part of plans to take the whole site to 42 turbines.
However, he said he was ‘minded to approve’ two additional turbines in Rochdale with a maximum height of 115 metres, subject to conditions. This could potentially enlarge Scout Moor to 28 turbines.
Developers had argued that the extra turbines would generate power for around 22,500 homes and bring in more than £11 million to the local economy.
But, supporting planning inspector John Woolcock’s recommendation to refuse the expansion following last October’s inquiry, Mr Javid cited the main issues of the character and appearance of the landscape, and heritage assets as the reasons behind his refusal.
In his notice of decision, Mr Javid stated that the proposed turbines sited near to the edge of the moor would have a “significant adverse effect on the landscape character and visual amenity”.
It adds: “The Secretary of State attributes considerable weight to the identified harm to heritage assets, but considers that the public benefits of the renewable energy generated by the scheme would far outweigh any harm to heritage assets.
“However, he considers that the overall benefits of the scheme would not be sufficient to also outweigh the harm identified to the character and appearance of the area, which attracts significant weight against the proposal.”
Revised proposals had proposed that 11 of the turbines would stand at 115 metres high, with three measuring up to 100 metres.
Addressing the issues of appearance, the decision notice states that Mr Javid does not believe the proposed layout would ‘integrate well’ with the existing turbines.
He said: “The proposal would extend the footprint of the existing wind farm and would introduce prominent views of turbines where none currently exist of the existing Scout Moor Farm.”
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