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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May, 2005, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Moors' windfarm gets green light
Scout Moor
Twenty-six turbines will be built on Scout Moor
Controversial plans to build 26 wind turbines on moorlands have been approved following a public inquiry.

The Peel Holdings scheme on Scout and Knowl Moors was opposed by residents and three local councils.

United Utilities has sold its stake in the windfarm between Edenfield, Lancashire, and Whitworth, near Rochdale in Greater Manchester.

The decision was announced on Wednesday by Malcolm Wicks in his first speech as energy minister.

'Reliable energy'

Campaigner, Councillor Ann Metcalfe, said: "I'm bitterly disappointed - what more can I say?

"They are just going to dominate the landscape.

"What it comes down to is that you are fighting an organisation with a bottomless pit of funds," added the councillor who is a founder member of the Friends of Scout and Knowl Moor.

Ms Metcalfe said she supported wind energy in the right location and believed that people should be allowed to have their own small scale windmills.

'Reliable energy'

Mr Wicks said: "My decision was taken after extensive and thorough consideration of the representations I received, both for and against consent being granted.

"Today's approval takes into account the concerns raised and includes a number of conditions recommended by the inquiry inspector to mitigate any impacts."

He added: "This will help us to meet our climate change commitments and build reliable energy supplies."

The 80m-high turbines - two thirds the size of Blackpool Tower - would generate 65 megawatts of electricity to be fed into the national grid providing electricity for the equivalent of 30,000 homes.

Turbine noise

The 50m project will also have a linked community trust to invest 1m into local projects over the course of the windfarm's operational life.

Objections by the Friends of Scout and Knowl Moor included problems with increased traffic, damage to an untouched landscape and the noise of the turbines as their blades turn in the wind.

Naturalist David Bellamy was among those supporting the groups' objections.

Rossendale, Rochdale and Lancashire County Councils also opposed the scheme.


SEE ALSO:
Wind farms 'must take root in UK'
19 May 05 |  Science/Nature
Wind farm inquiry gets under way
23 Nov 04 |  Manchester
Britons 'in favour of wind farms'
20 Sep 04 |  Science/Nature
Bellamy criticises windfarm plans
04 Oct 03 |  Lancashire


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