A planning application by ScottishPower Renewables, in relation to the repowering of Coal Clough Windfarm near Burnley, has been approved by Burnley Borough Council. A separate application to construct a new temporary private access received a positive vote, but final approval has been deferred subject to a financial restoration bond being agreed, which the company hopes to fulfil quickly. Once the bond is agreed, it is anticipated that the application for a new temporary private access will be approved. The planning applications were determined by members of the Development Control Committee on Thursday (10th January).
Coal Clough is one of the oldest windfarms in operation in the UK, and ScottishPower Renewables has proposed replacing the existing 24 wind turbines that have been in operation since 1992, with eight new, modern wind turbines. The eight new turbines would have a maximum height of 110 metres to the blade tip, and would be capable of generating up to 16MW (megawatts) of renewable electricity, over a third more than the current capacity of 9.6MW.
A new private access track, approximately 1km in length, is also required in order to construct the new windfarm. This is proposed on land between Red Lees Road, Overtown and The Long Causeway, near Burnley. The access track has been specifically designed to minimise visual impact with further visual mitigation measures proposed by building dry stone walls and tree planting.
Janice McLaughlin, Project Director at ScottishPower Renewables, said: “This is a significant milestone for the Coal Clough Repowering project. We are pleased that Burnley Borough Council has approved our application to develop a new windfarm, having considered all of the relevant information as well as taking in to account comments from all of the consultees. We anticipate being able to agree the details of a bond with the Council quickly, which will allow the approval of the temporary access track as well.
“We are an experienced windfarm developer, and we pride ourselves on being a responsible developer. Our proposals for Coal Clough are based on years of detailed planning, and have been shaped by working closely with a range of environmental groups and by the feedback we have received following extensive consultation. This site has a long association with generating renewable electricity, being one of the first windfarm developments in the UK, and we look forward to this continuing for many years to come.”