Status: Approval for 2 Turbines
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 wast to grant permission for 2 of the 16 turbines promoted as part of the scheme.
The Public Inquiry
The public inquiry was opened on 11 October 2016 and was closed by the Inspector on 20 October 2016. The Inspector will submitted his report to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in April 2017. The Secretary of State issued his decision letter on July 2017. Ratification of the decision to approve the two turbines in Rochdale is still awaited, following submission of updated noise conditions to the council.
The proposal had been in development since 2011. The scheme the Secretary of State considered included 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 and associated ancillary infrastructure including access tracks, crane pads, underground cabling, anemometer mast, construction compound and substation.
Benefits offered included the restoration and management of the degraded moorland peat habitat within the application site, including the erection of temporary fencing; 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, and ; 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.
Peel is currently considering the merits of bringing the two approved turbines forwards in the current policy climate and will examine all potential options.
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