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A wind farm? You decide

TODAY the Advertiser gives YOU the chance to make your views known on one of the most important planning applications ever heard in Oldham.

Denshaw Moor has been chosen as the site for seven 355ft tall wind turbines which would dominate the Saddleworth skyline.

To some they would be a blot on the landscape, to others a brave move towards energy efficiency, and on February 23 Oldham Council’s planning committee will be asked to decide whether or not the scheme should go ahead.

The application has attracted unprecedented public interest since it was originally submitted in December, 2003, and thousands have already given their views to the committee.

Here we present the arguments on both sides and ask you to give your view on whether a wind farm should be built in the borough.

On one hand we have the case for the applicants, energy company E.ON UK, one of the largest integrated energy companies in Britain, which took on the scheme last year from United Utilities.

Presenting the argument against the application we have Saddleworth Moors Action Group, which was formed to fight the wind farm.

With just one speaker from each side being allowed to speak for three minutes each on the day, and limited space for the public to watch the debate, this is your chance to make your views known.

FOR

E.ON UK is one of the UK’s... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Denshaw Moor has been chosen as the site for seven 355ft tall wind turbines which would dominate the Saddleworth skyline.

To some they would be a blot on the landscape, to others a brave move towards energy efficiency, and on February 23 Oldham Council’s planning committee will be asked to decide whether or not the scheme should go ahead.

The application has attracted unprecedented public interest since it was originally submitted in December, 2003, and thousands have already given their views to the committee.

Here we present the arguments on both sides and ask you to give your view on whether a wind farm should be built in the borough.

On one hand we have the case for the applicants, energy company E.ON UK, one of the largest integrated energy companies in Britain, which took on the scheme last year from United Utilities.

Presenting the argument against the application we have Saddleworth Moors Action Group, which was formed to fight the wind farm.

With just one speaker from each side being allowed to speak for three minutes each on the day, and limited space for the public to watch the debate, this is your chance to make your views known.

FOR

E.ON UK is one of the UK’s leading renewable energy generators.

Working closely with stakeholders, communities and government, we’re committed to helping to reduce carbon emissions and to building a sustainable future.

Denshaw Moor Wind Farm would generate enough clean, green, renewable energy to power around 8,000 homes – over 9 per cent of households in Oldham – saving emissions of around 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases every year.

What’s more, as UK fossil fuel reserves are depleted, the growth in renewable energy through projects like this will reduce our reliance on imported fuels, improving security of energy supply.

The site was identified within an area suitable for wind farm development in a study commissioned by Oldham Council. It’s a windy site, relatively remote from houses, with nearby grid connection and good road access.

A thorough Environmental Impact Assessment, supplemented by further studies and liaison with key stakeholders, predicts no significantly adverse effects.

There would be other considerable benefits too, including around £1 million of civil and electrical construction contracts. A Community Fund, representing over £500,000 through the life of the project, would be established to share the benefits of the scheme

Last month we spoke to over 100 people on a renewable energy information stand in the Spindles Shopping Centre. Over 90% were in favour of wind energy and supported the specific proposal at Denshaw Moor.

We believe that this proposal is a golden opportunity for Oldham to take local action to help combat the serious global threat posed by climate change.

Bob Whiteley, Project Developer E.ON UK

AGAINST

The sheer size of the wind turbines planned for Denshaw Moor is not easy to grasp. Think of one and a half times the height of Oldham Civic Centre and try and imagine the impact that seven of these monsters, plonked close to one of the high points of the South Pennines, will have on the landscape.

If this proposal is passed, Denshaw Moor will be turned into a vast industrial site. Each turbine would have more than 300 tonnes of concrete foundations and there would be at least five miles of new roads across the moor, with miles of pylons devastating the local environment. Local wildlife, including extremely rare birds, are threatened and the fledgling Saddleworth tourist industry will suffer.

The archaeology, on what experts regard as one of the most important sites in the North-West, would be endangered. Supporters of the Pennine Bridleway believe it would wreck this newly completed national riding trail. Waiting in the wings are proposals to build turbines at sites on Wharmton Hill, overlooking Uppermill and Greenfield; Tandle Hill, Royton’s favourite beauty spot, and the site on Crompton Moor will dominate Shaw and Crompton.

Approving Denshaw Moor will open the floodgates to developers seeking to cash in on the lucrative subsidies presently available by exploiting the rest of Oldham's precious Green Belt. No wonder the objectors include MP Phil Woolas, MEP Chris Davies, Peak District Planning Authority, Rochdale Borough Council, Ramblers Association,
Saddleworth Parish Council and many local amenity groups. To cap it all, the amount of electricity to be produced by this industrial complex will ‘save’ less CO2 each year than is given out by one jumbo jet on one journey across the Atlantic!

Alan Roughley, Saddleworth Moors Action Group
David Lafferty and James Ferguson

Source: http://www.oldhamadvertiser...

FEB 8 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1241-a-wind-farm-you-decide
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