The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ‘called-in’ the Scout Moor Expansion proposal on 30 November 2015, following the recommendation by both Rochdale Council and Rossendale Council that the project be approved. His decision is awaited.
Public Inquiry Progress
The public inquiry was opened on 11 October 2016 and was closed by the Inspector on 20 October 2016. The Inspector will submit his report to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on or before 3 April 2017. There is no time limit by which the Secretary of State has to issue his decision.
The proposals have been in development since 2011. The applications were submitted to both Rochdale and Rossendale Councils and were accompanied by a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment. Prior to the applications being submitted, Peel had carried out extensive pre-application consultation with the local community, stakeholders, landowners and common right holders.
The scheme now before the Secretary of State includes:
- The construction and operation of 16 wind turbines located on land to the north and on land between the existing turbines and access tracks of Scout Moor Wind Farm
- The construction of associated ancillary infrastructure including access tracks, crane pads, underground cabling, anemometer mast, construction compound and substation
- The restoration and management of the degraded moorland peat habitat within the application site, including the erection of temporary fencing
- Proposals to connect the wind farm to the national electricity grid* via underground cabling and the creation of temporary off-street car parking facilities for residents in Edenfield during the construction period**
- The creation of a new horse-riding route, to contribute towards improving linkages between the south-western side of Scout Moor and the Mary Towneley Loop for horse riders
- The creation of new recreational paths for pedestrians and horse-riders to link existing and proposed wind farm access tracks to existing Public Rights of Way.
* Details of how the scheme is to be connected to the national electricity grid are presented within the Environmental Statement and have been subject to the EIA process. However, these works do not form part of the application for planning permission. Rather, responsibility for the consenting and implementation of these works rests with the relevant District Network Operator.
** The use of the Edenfield Community Centre car park does not require planning permission but the effects of its use during periods of construction have been subject to EIA and are considered in the supporting ES and Planning Statement.
Common Land Applications
Separate to the planning applications, we are proposing to submit several Common Land Applications under Sections 38 and Section 16 of the Commons Act 2006. Please read on to find out more information.
As you may know, Scout Moor Wind Farm Expansion Limited (SMWFEL) submitted planning applications to Rossendale and Rochdale Borough Council’s to expand Scout Moor Wind Farm. The expansion plans propose 16 new turbines, access tracks, cable runs and a Moorland Restoration Management Plan (MRMP). This scheme is proposed mainly on land which is currently designated ‘Common Land’ under the Commons Act 2006 (CA2006).
What is a Common Land Application?
Separate to the planning application, we are required to seek consent to de-register the land on which the new turbines and infrastructure will be sited and provide an area of replacement Common Land (Section 16, CA2006). The application –once submitted – would be decided at a national level by the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).
As part of the MRMP, we are also seeking consent to erect areas of temporary fencing on areas of degraded blanket bog within the Scout Moor area (Section 38, CA2006).This would assist in re-establishing vegetation on bare peat and enhancement of the vegetation where is badly damaged. The improved habitats in turn would result in better water quality reaching the reservoirs downstream. The improvements from this will generate a significant local benefit associated with the planning application.
To find out more, please download our consultation newsletter.
Approval of the scheme will undoubtedly provide many significant community and environmental benefits including a Moorland Restoration Plan and Community Benefit Fund for local people to spend on community projects of their choosing. This is in addition of course to the production of clean, renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 20,000 homes.
If the Scout Moor Wind Farm Expansion is approved, it will include the potential for local Rossendale and Rochdale businesses to be involved in the construction and operation of the windfarm through a Local Employment and Supply Chain Plan. This is a clear commitment by us to source local labour and skills from within Rochdale and Rossendale whenever possible. We are currently operating a similar scheme in Cheshire in connection with our Frodsham Wind Farm.
We held a series of preliminary events with businesses in Rossendale and Rochdale earlier in 2015. Thank you to all those who attended and have registered their interest.
To view a copy of the presentation, please click here.
Please download the ‘Information for Local Businesses and Suppliers’ information leaflet for more information.
In the meantime, please stay in touch and send through any information for our records on your company and keep us updated if you acquire a new relevant skill or certification.
The Planning Application reference number for Rochdale Borough Council is 15/00395/FUL.
The Planning Application reference number for Rossendale Borough Council is 2015/0112.
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