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Members must indicate at this stage any items on the agenda in which they must declare an interest. Members must verbally give notice of their interest at the meeting and complete the form attached with this agenda.
Members are also advised to take advice with regard to any matter where there is potential bias or predetermination in any business to be considered at the meeting and whether they should take part in decision making at the meeting.
Members are reminded that, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 and the Council's adopted Code of Conduct, they must declare the nature of any discloseable pecuniary interest; personal interest and/or prejudicial interest required of them and, in the case of any discloseable pecuniary interest or prejudicial interest, withdraw from the meeting during consideration of the item, unless permitted otherwise within the Code of Conduct.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Director of Economy and Environment reported on an application for the extension of Scout Moor wind farm to be considered as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). The Council was not the determining authority for the application, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO); the application would instead be made to the National Infrastructure Directorate (NID), part of the Planning Inspectorate.
The developer began their Stage 2 consultation on the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) in June 2014 for which the Council is a statutory consultee. The views of the Committee on the proposal were being sought at this meeting, while Officers were drawing up a joint technical response with the other ‘host authorities’ (Rossendale Borough Council and Lancashire County Council) on the PEIR. The main issues in that technical response were outlined within the submitted report. Members were advised that further opportunities to comment would arise within a further consultation on the draft Environmental Statement (Stage 3) and through the production of a Local Impact Report.
The Director of Economy and Environment reported further on highways and landscape considerations since preparation of the submitted report. In respect of highways, little materially had changed and issues relating to the main access; the need for a full Transport Assessment due to incomplete and inconsistent detail received to date; and the need for defined routes for traffic, noted as requiring temporary Traffic Regulation Orders as for previous like developments, were advised. With regard to landscape, the considerations had changed little since the report was prepared in terms of the primary area of impact and impact on recreational opportunities. It was suggested that an adverse impact mitigation scheme was likely to require a reduction of the number of turbines, but this position was expected to become clearer with further information provided at the following stages.
Members of the Council who were not members of the Committee but who were in attendance were invited to address the Committee. The Committee received such remarks and considered issues as follows:-
· Concern in respect of the cumulative impact of the development both in respect of the adjacent scheme at Rooley Moor and other wind farms in the area. Concern in relation to the differing approaches to the determination of these wind farm applications, with the Local Planning Authority being the determining authority for some, the National Infrastructure Directorate for others. This does not allow a consistency of approach and also means that proposals are often considered in isolation.
· Concern expressed that the local authority is not the decision maker for this proposal.
· Consideration of the proposals should not be limited to the two turbines proposed within the administrative boundary of Rochdale and should be looked at in the round.
· Information had previously been given that the 26 turbines in the existing wind farm was suitable for wind energy development.
· The development was in the Green Belt and would have a significantly detrimental impact upon it. It made no difference that there are no buildings ... view the full minutes text for item 91.