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Rossendale Council receives windfarm cash boost
2:20pm Saturday 14th July 2012 in Rossendale
ROSSENDALE Council is to receive more than £100,000 after members voted in favour of a proposed wind farm.
London-based company Coronation Power will pay the money for access to an area known as Landgate off the A671 near Shawforth.
Council officers hope the deal will signal an end to an ongoing ownership dispute surrounding the site.
Twelve wind turbines could be installed as part of the deal, which will see the money earmarked to support activities in Whitworth.
An extra £50,000 will also be split between St Michael & St John CoE Primary School and local renewable energy projects.
The controversial decision was passed after last-minute information regarding access routes was passed to councillors.
Supporters say allowing Coronation Power access from the south, which requires permission from Rochdale HIghways Authority, was the only credible option available, and will save taxpayers thousands of pounds in legal fees.
Mayor of Whitworth, Councillor David Barnes, believes there is “no support for the turbines in the town”.
But council leader Alyson Barnes said it was rare for a commercial land sale to even be discussed in public, adding that is was usually dealt with solely by council officers.
She said: “We only brought this before the public because we knew the level of feeling surrounding it.
“I’d love to be able to fight Corporation Power but because of the issues surrounding the land ownership it would be too risky with our resources.”
Healey and Whitworth Councillor Roland Neal believed greater community engagement was needed.
He said: “We’re making policy on the hoof. I’ve never seen anything like it in 26 years as a councillor.”
The council claims a 999-year lease over the land but it is also by Jeremy Dearden, the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale (LOM), although neither party can prove ownership.
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