Bridleways Association Objection Letter

posted 5 Oct 2014, 12:48 by Rochdale & Bury Bridleways Association   [ updated 24 Mar 2016, 06:21 ]
The attached letter has been sent into the Councils on behalf of the Bridleways Association. We encourage all our members to write into both Rochdale and Rossendale Planning Departments to express their own views regarding the windfarm (good or bad). This is your opportunity to get your views known. The addresses to write to are 
Rochdale Council
Rebecca Coley
Rochdale Borough Council
Floor 3
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale
OL16 1XU
Application Number 14/00877/FUL

Rossendale Council
Adrian Smith
Principal Planner
Rossendale Borough Council
The Buisness Centre
Futures Park
Bacup
OL13 0BB
Application Number 2014/0388

Bridleways Letter

ROCHDALE, BURY BRIDLEWAYS ASSOCIATION

Joan Snowdon                                                                                                             Irene Pope

Top o’ th’ Royds Farm                                                                                                101 Mather Road

Overtown Lane                                                                                                             Bury

Off Edenfield Road                                                                                                       BL9 6RD

Norden                                                                                                                           davidpope10@sky.com                  

Rochdale

OL12 7TU

joan.snowdon@virgin.net

 

3/10/2014

 

 

 RE:  PLANNING APPLICATION: 2014/0388

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Smith

We are writing on behalf of the members of Rochdale Bury Bridleways Association (97 members) to object to the proposed development by Coronation Power to erect 12 wind turbines on either side of Rooley Moor Road, Rochdale and to the proposal to use Rooley Moor Road as an access route to their construction site.

 We have outlined our concerns below.

·         The Mary Towneley Loop, a 47 mile National Trail and local tourist attraction, and the Sport England Lottery Award used to construct, it will be compromised.

·         The use of Rooley Moor Road as an access road for construction traffic raises serious safety issues for equestrian users of the common land of the moor and its bridleways.

·         The inadequate separation distances of the turbines from the bridleway create further threats to the safety of equestrians using the Mary Towneley Loop.

·         The income of local equestrian tourist facilities associated with the Mary Towneley Loop will be put at risk.

·         The jobs of people who care for horses at the local livery yards will be put at risk.

·         The proposed treatment of the surface of Rooley Moor Road and the construction of the Borrow Pits so close to the bridleways will adversely affect horses being ridden along Rooley Moor Road.

·         The proposed alternative bridleway offered to keep horses away from the construction traffic on Rooley Moor Road is not fit for purpose.

 

We also consider that observations and suggestions concerning horses and wind turbines made in the documents in the Environmental Statement are questionable and in some instances dangerous.

 

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We would now like to expand on these points.

 

1.   The Mary Towneley Loop

Rooley Moor Road is part of the Mary Towneley Loop. The Mary Towneley Loop is a 47 mile circular section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail. It dips in and out of Lancashire and Yorkshire on the outskirts of Rossendale, Calderdale, Burnley and Rochdale. If the Rooley Moor Road section is developed as a wind farm then it will sever the whole Loop and ruin what is a fantastic, safe off-road route. It takes on average 3 days to complete the Loop on horseback, to enjoy the spectacular scenery, peace and quiet and the hospitality of local businesses offering Bed and Breakfast for both horse and rider.  “Looping the Loop” is an aim of many horse riders.  The Mary Towneley Loop is not an insignificant bridleway. It is as important to the Happy Hackers of the equestrian world as The Derby and The Grand National are to the racing fraternity. People have come from all over the UK to ride The Mary Towneley Loop, from Ireland, Wales and Scotland as well as areas such as Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York. Rider’s ages range from 6 to 60+ years and some people have ridden the Loop several times, one 6 times. Matt Baker from the BBC’s Countryfile was broadcast riding part of the Mary Towneley Loop in February 2011.  Even Princess Anne has ridden part of the Loop, in 2000 before it was officially opened.

 

2.     Effects of Rooley Moor Road used as an access road

Rooley Moor Road is enjoyed by local people and there are many livery yards in the area catering for a large horse population. Many farmers have diversified in order to accommodate this and the livery yards are all well established. This proposed development would have a massive impact because everything needed for it would have to be brought up Rooley Moor Road and it would take 12 to 18 months to construct the wind farm. Most of the livery yards are accessed using Rooley Moor Road and people would not want to compete with heavy machinery and plant and would feel compelled to seek safer livery yards elsewhere. The local economy is at risk as the livery yards are in danger of losing their clients and the jobs of those who care for the horses are put at risk.  The Council should be protecting the jobs and livelihoods of the people in its area.  No one would want to risk the safety of horse and rider on what would become a construction site and there is no alternative safe route from Waterfoot to Catley Lane Head because of the boggy nature of the terrain on Scout Moor and Rooley Moor. There has been an incident this summer where a rider has gone off track and the horse became stuck in the bog.  In the document produced by the British Horse Society (BHS) entitled “Advice on Wind Turbines and Horses – Guidance for Planners and Developers”, on page 7 it says that access for construction purposes should avoid bridleways or byways as it is incompatible with equestrian use and routes should not be closed to equestrians so as to facilitate constructionRooley Moor Road is a public bridleway and should be kept open and safe for everyone in all user groups at all times.

 

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3.    Inadequate separation distances

 (i) BHS guidelines 

 There is also the problem of the turbines themselves, 8 of which will be closer to the bridleway than the separation distance recommended by the BHS which states a separation distance of 200m or three times the overall height (whichever is greater) should be the target distance from all routes which are used by equestrians, including roads .  It should be noted that a separation distance of 200m was recommended in the days when the turbines were much smaller than they are now. For todays’ giants of 125m the separation distance needs to be far greater. We must also bear in mind that turbines are failing on other wind farms. As the proposed turbines are so close to the bridleway the public will be put at risk if one falls, catches fire or a rotor blade breaks, as has happened to turbines in this area, and this is unacceptable.   In Coronation Power’s plans the height of each turbine is given as 125m so the separation distance should be 375m according to the British Horse Society guidelines.

(ii) Contradictory statements

           (a)        In Coronation Power’s Scoping Report it is stated that

“Consideration will be given to accommodating the recommended separation distances between users of the Bridleway and the proposed turbine locations”.                                    

 Turbines T2, T3, T5, T6 ,T7, T8,T11 and T12 have a separation distance of  between 174m and 237m from the bridleway whilst T10 is 305m from the bridleway. Only 3 turbines in the proposed development, T1, T4 and T9 are acknowledging the BHS recommendations. It is therefore quite clear that the British Horse Society guidelines have not been followed.

                      (b)    In the Pre-application Consultation Report, Table 1-Scoping Opinion, Natural England comment on the need to consider the sensitivity of horses to turbines and then later about the BHS guidelines of suitable separation distances. In reply Coronation Power  make contradictory statements replying to the first comment that guidelines issued by the BHS in relation to horses and wind turbines have been followed and then saying in response to the second comment it has not been possible to achieve 3x turbine height.

(iii)  Combined development

Appendix II shows the positions of the proposed turbines from the development by Peel Holdings /United Utilities and is included to demonstrate how the two developments together will have a massive impact on The Mary Towneley Loop.   The riders will face a significant distance of unremitting turbines. Near Cowpe Moss there is a distance of 1500m of track (measured from Peel Holdings map) with turbines from the Peel Holdings development too close to the bridleway. Further south (measured from both Peel Holdings‘ and Coronation Power’s maps) 2000m  of turbines too close to the bridleway  from both the Peel Holdings and the Coronation Power developments together. This makes a total of 3500m of turbines for riders to negotiate, an unacceptable distance.

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(iv)  Environmental Statement- Appendix 14.1

In this document David Stewart Associates offer some questionable arguments in order to justify inadequate separation distances.

     (a)  It is suggested that the vast majority of riders using Rooley Moor Road will be locals whose horses will get used to the turbines. Not many riders from out of the area will be tackling the 330km Pennine Bridleway trail and they will be mounted on experienced horses. He seems not to realise that this section of the bridleway is also a part of the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop. There are likely to be more riders from out of the area, many of which will be ordinary riders accepting the challenge of the Loop on less experienced horses.

    (b)  It is stated that there is no evidence that the turbines will prevent riders completing this section of the Mary Towneley Loop. In the letters of objection arriving at the Council Offices the evidence is there.

(c)  It is suggested that as the moor is common land riders can go off the marked lines of the bridleway and onto the moor to bypass turbines that are too close. Do so at your peril in that boggy terrain!

(d)   There is a misconception that a slow-moving rotor on a fully visible turbine will not be intimidating to horses. From a distance that may well be true, but as the horse approaches nearer to the turbine, if it is that way inclined, it will refuse to go forward or spin round and run.

(v)   The definite threat to equines.

Although the BHS guidelines are not statutory, planning decisions concerning wind farm developments have been made based on them. The BHS, who have many years’ worth of experience with horses between them, have a good reason to recommend them.  Natural England have commented  that although there is a lack of research into the issue of the safety of horse riders in the vicinity of wind turbines the minimum intervening distances between turbines and bridleways recommended by the BHS should be respected. There is no doubt at all that the turbines do pose a threat to the equestrian community and their rights to use a public highway in safety must be protected.

4.     Factors affecting horses

 The turbines being so close to the bridleway creates a visual and noise problem for the horses being ridden along the Mary Towneley Loop. There are several features of this development that could cause problems to horses.

(i)  Unusual sounds, such as the whoosh of the rotating blade, are disturbing to horses, as their hearing is very sensitive and if they cannot identify the source of the sound, particularly from overhead, they panic and flight mode takes over.

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(ii)  In the morning the shadow effect from turbines 3, 6, 11 and 12 will adversely affect the Bridleway and later in the day the shadow effect from turbines 2, 5, 7 and 8 will be a problem. The shadow effect might extend to up to 10 times turbine height in the morning towards the west of Rooley Moor Road and in the evening towards the east of Rooley Moor Road.

(iii)  Turbines sited east and west of a north/south route, the situation proposed, is the worst scenario for incidence of shadow cast at any time of the day.

(iv)  The sight of the descending rotor itself will be perceived as a threat, again from overhead.

(v)  The fact that where Rooley Moor Road crosses the Coronation Power site the turbines are         arranged on both sides of the bridleway creating a corridor.

(vi)  There are several turbines to pass through.

 

5    Financial Aspects and Tourism

 (i) Sport England Funding

The Mary Towneley Loop was created using a major part of a £1.8 million award from Sport England Lottery Funding. (See Appendix I)  Sport England has been informed of the development and they are willing to make a comment on the effects of the wind farm extension on their investment in this bridleway if the planning authorities contact them. The Mary Towneley Loop was completed in 2002 and allows horse riders and other members of the public to enjoy our ancient highways and bridleways both now and in the future.

As has been described in sections 2 and 3, because of the close proximity of some of the proposed wind turbines to the bridleway  and the proposed use of Rooley Moor Road as an access road to the construction site, it will no longer be safely useable. This route has been used since the days of the Packhorse as a route between Waterfoot and Rochdale and there is no safe alternative. Many prospective visitors will be deterred from using the Mary Towneley Loop because of safety issues. If the bridleway cannot be used safely this means that the public funding for this project will have been compromised.

(ii)  Effects on B&B businesses

Those businesses which rely on visitors using their B&B facilities will lose revenue.  Over the last 10 years on average 150 horse riders per season (May to September) have ridden the Loop and taken advantage of the B&B facilities for both horse and rider.  This has resulted in an annual income of £10K for each business. This is a substantial proportion of their income for these small farm businesses.

 

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(iii)  Effects on tourism

 Thus the development will impact tourism in the area by deterring riders from using the Mary Towneley Loop, an existing tourist attraction and part of an active sports industry, because of the actual and perceived threat to their safety by the closeness of the turbines to the bridleway. It is difficult, therefore, to see how Coronation Power have complied with Policy LT/2 in the Rochdale UDP*. In the National Planning Policy Framework, Communities and Local Government ,section 3,  paragraph 28  it says that planning should support “sustainable rural tourism and leisure development that benefits businesses in rural areas, communities and visitors, and which respect the character of the countryside.”

6.   The right to ride safely on a public bridleway

(i)  Surveys and evidence

In 2012 the BHS produced the results of a limited survey into the experiences of horse riders near wind turbines. It found that 20% of riders consulted had experienced difficulties with their horses in the vicinity of wind turbines. This figure will not include those riders who will not take their horses near a wind turbine for fear of their horse’s response and will therefore not be included in the statistics. As there has been no formal scientific study into the reactions of horses to wind turbines, all evidence produced, whether showing horses can co-exist with turbines or that they have adverse reactions to turbines, must be anecdotal and carry equal weight. However, because an adverse reaction by a horse to a turbine could result in the death or injury of the rider such examples should be taken more seriously.

(ii)  The right to ride safely

 All riders, whether or not their horses tolerate wind turbines, have a right to ride along a public bridleway and those whose horses have adverse reactions to wind turbines should not be discriminated against by the presence of wind turbines too close to the bridleway, especially where there is no alternative route as is the case with Rooley Moor Road. The Mary Towneley Loop should be no more hazardous than any other bridleway in the area. The presence of a wind turbine will deny access to some riders who will then be forced to ride on the roads. Local riders avoid riding near the wind turbines that are already on the moor out of concern for their safety. We must protect bridleways so that riders have access to safe off-road routes.The death or injury of one rider, because their horse was frightened by a wind turbine built too close to a public bridleway where there is no alternative route, is one death or injury too many. Evidence of serious incidents will not be common because people with susceptible horses just don’t go near turbines. Do we have to have a fatality before the concerns of horse riders are taken seriously in our Health and Safety conscious society? The decision makers, who probably do not have personal experience of a frightened horse reacting to a turbine, should not be too hasty in dismissing the importance of the concerns of horse riders, as they have done in the past.

*Rochdale UDP, Policy LT/2: Protection of Tourism Attractions. Development proposals that would adversely affect an existing tourist attraction will not be permitted where they would detract from its function, appearance or setting.

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7.   Safety of horse riders used in Planning Decisions

(i)  Rochdale

In a recent decision made by Rochdale Council concerning the erection of two 25m turbines at the side of Castle Hill Road, Birtle the Council refused the application using the British Horse Society guidelines. The Council stated that the recommended distance would not be achieved and that the applicant had not demonstrated that the noise and flicker effect resulting from the motion of the wind turbines would not adversely affect horses and the safety of their riders using Castle Hill Road to an unacceptable degree. They therefore decided that the development would not satisfy policy EM/14-Wind Power Developments of the Council’s adopted Unitary Development Plan. This decision   then went to appeal and the development was considered by The Planning Inspectorate. The Inspector commented that horses are known to be sensitive to turbines and can be affected by their presence and that could lead to behaviour that would put riders at risk. The Inspector therefore decided that the development would not satisfy EM/14(d) of Rochdale’s Unitary Development Plan concerned with the need to avoid Health and Safety Risks. Therefore Health and Safety is considered a valid reason to use when making decisions concerning the siting of wind turbines. If it is true for just two wind turbines then it must be even more valid when larger numbers of turbines are involved, especially for turbines which are five times larger.  On page 5 of the British Horse Society Advice on Wind Turbines and Horses- Guidance for Developers and Planners it states that “one turbine is much easier to cope with than many, the more machines, the greater the threat.”

 (ii)  Somerset

In 2011 an application for two 34.2m high wind turbines at Moorhayes Farm, Charlton Musgrove in Somerset was made to South Somerset District Council. These turbines would have been within 170m of a RUUP and 220m from the track at Wincanton Racecourse. The decision on the application was taken away from the District Council and went to The Planning Inspectorate in March 2012. The Inspector, Mr. Andrew Pykett, said “ As the horses approach the North West corner of the course they would be running and jumping directly in line with the turbines at a distance of about 250m. The appellant agrees the turbines could be a distraction in such circumstances and this could have a direct and unacceptable consequence in Health and Safety terms.” We suggest that a similar situation will be evident on The Mary Towneley Loop if the turbines are built. A horse does not have to be galloping and jumping to be adversely influenced  by a turbine. The Inspector went on to say that he understood that when horses are familiar with the turbines the possibility of an adverse reaction is lessened, but this is unlikely to apply to racehorses which travel from afar. There will be riders from outside the local area wishing to ride The Mary Towneley Loop. The Inspector was also concerned that the RUUP was close to the sites of the proposed turbines.  The application was dismissed, the above being part of the argument.

 

 

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(iii) Cambridgeshire

When commenting on an appeal for a wind farm in Cambridgeshire, the Inspector, Mr. Philip Major, said the following:-

“So it seems to me that there is no ‘in principle’ reason why wind turbines should not be sited close to routes used by horses so long as there are opportunities for horses to become accustomed to their prescence.”   Riders from across the UK who wish to ride the Mary Towneley Loop are not likely to have had an ‘opportunity’.

8.   Safety of riders from outside the area

If the turbines on Rooley Moor are built too close to the bridleway any rider whose horse has not seen a turbine will be in a state of anxiety wondering how their horse will react and this anxiety will be passed on to the horse. This will spoil their enjoyment of the Loop and the anxiety factor may even prevent a rider from attempting the Loop.   In the BHS Wind Turbine and Horses Survey there is reference to problems with a route passing close to  wind turbines at an endurance ride. It created a severe problem for many riders causing some to fall from their horses. All subsequent risk assessments showed that it was too dangerous to include the route in future rides. Reactions were extreme because endurance rides attract horses from a wide area and many of the horses would never have seen a wind turbine at close hand. We have a similar situation with The Mary Towneley Loop where riders come from all parts of the country to ride. Riding through a corridor of turbines situated close to the bridleway as we will have on Rooley Moor Road is an unacceptable risk. Many riders will have a preconceived fear about testing their horse’s reaction to a turbine and this will deter a significant number of riders from attempting this National Trail.

9.    The  Environmental Statement

(i) Type of horse

In Chapter 14, section14.27 and section 14.28, of the Environmental Statement produced by Coronation Power there is a discussion about the type of horse one should ride on The Mary Towneley Loop suggesting that thoroughbred horses and arabs are unsuitable because they are too high spirited. In their conclusion to the results of the Wind Turbine and Horses Survey, The British Horse Society remarked that “It is worrying that in many instances there were adverse reactions to the turbines from usually quiet horses with skilled riders aboard. Vulnerable riders such as children, the disabled and the inexperienced on quiet horses are therefore at risk. Any turbine near a route used by horses has the potential to increase the accident risk unacceptably.”  Therefore it is not just thoroughbred horses that react badly to wind turbines. High spirited thoroughbred horses make very good mounts on The Mary Towneley Loop, having had personal experience of this and a very enjoyable week’s riding, but that is because the existing turbines are far enough away not to matter. Arab horses are widely used in endurance competitions and an endurance rider is very likely to be one of the riders tackling the 47 mile Mary Towneley loop.

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(ii) Risk assessments

 In section 14.27 it is remarked that riders will have already made a safety assessment as to whether the horse is safe to take onto the Development Area. In this statement the developer has shown that they are aware of the danger posed by the turbines, built too close to the bridleway. On a public right of way the developers could reduce the danger by moving the turbines to a safer distance, eg. that recommended by the BHS. By this statement the developer also admits that the turbines will stop some riders from accessing this section of The Mary Towneley Loop and therefore prevent a rider from tackling the whole ride, thus severing the Loop. We can already ride this route safely so talk of risk assessments is not plausible. The risk assessment should be done by the developer and plans should be modified to keep all bridleway users safe as they are now

 (iii) Spooking horses

  Twice in this Statement, in section 14.25 and section 14.27, reference is made to other factors such as dogs and litter in the environment that startle horses. These are occasional hazards that riders have to deal with, they don’t happen every day, and quite frankly how are they relevant? A wind turbine is a permanent feature that cannot be avoided if one wishes to ride along Rooley Moor Road if the turbines are built. In section14.25 it is stated that most horses can be trained to accept turbines. Visiting riders will not have had the luxury of desensitising their horses to the turbines and why should they have to if they wish to ride a National Trail? We don’t all have the luxury of being able to turn out our horses in a field next to turbines so they can get used to them, and de-sensitising a horse to turbines in hand or ridden is a potentially hazardous process that could take a long time. Riders from parts of the country where there are no turbines would have to travel possibly hundreds of miles and leave them for a period of time in order to desensitise their horse. This is such an expensive option it is unlikely to be taken up. As for the photograph of the quiet hunting scene (we could not find the photograph in the maze of documents) mentioned in  section 14.27, in the BHS Wind Turbines and Horses Survey report there are several references to hunting fields being sent into disarray when nearby wind turbine blades started spinning.

(iv)  Rooley Moor Road

(a)   Historical aspect

In sections 14.91 and 14.96 reference is made to alternative bridleways. Horse riders do not need an alternative bridleway. We have a perfectly acceptable, safe bridleway with a surface that has resisted bad erosion from horse’s hooves for centuries. Rooley Moor Road has a long association with horses and pedestrians, having been used as a Packhorse route at least since the 1800s. It appears on Yates’ Map of 1786 and Greenwood’s Map of Lancashire from 1818.  It is part of the heritage of the locality. It is the developers who need a different access road that will not damage the fabric of The Cotton Famine Road or the local ecology.

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(b)  Proposed treatment

 In section 4.3, Rooley Moor Road Treatment, it is stated that the developers intend to cover the setts with sand and then top that with   graded crushed rock and the causeway stones are to be removed and a temporary stone surface instated. The rough areas are also to be covered in crushed stone. No-one really knows whether or not this treatment will protect the historic setts and horse riders will be worried that the correct type of stone is used. If they get it wrong the soles of the horse’s feet could be bruised.

 

 (c)  Meeting HGVs

 During the construction phase it is very likely that a rider using Rooley Moor Road will meet an HGV or similar vehicle. Although drivers will have been told to give way to riders, how is the rider expected to pass the vehicle? The HGV will take up the full width of the bridleway and on either side is either a ditch or bog. Some riders whose horses are not traffic proof will not get by the HGV because they will probably not be able to get their horse anywhere near the vehicle or the horse could have bolted away from the vehicle, hopefully not into the bog! Riders use the moors because they are usually a safe haven from HGVs.

 

(d)  Borrow Pits

The separation distance between the Borrow Pit 1 and  Rooley Moor Road is only 9 metres. Borrow pit 2 is close to the Alternative Bridleway on Bagden Hillocks. It is very likely that as the Borrow Pits are so close to either bridleway, a horse may become frightened by a heavy vehicle working in the Pit, whether or not a fence is erected. Frightened horses can move very quickly and unpredictably and deposit their riders on the ground. As has been suggested previously, many people ride on the moor to keep away from HGVs and similar vehicles because their horses are not safe when confronted by such vehicles. This will be yet another route that will be denied to them as it is not possible to use either Rooley Moor Road or the Alternative Bridleway without passing a Borrow Pit.

 

(e) Access to Rooley Moor Road

  At the entrance to Rooley Moor Road the cattle grid is to be removed and an unspecified structure erected to keep the livestock on the moor. Surely at this stage more details of this structure should have been given. Whatever is erected, access to the moor for horses riders should be as easy as it is now, with any gate used suitable to being opened whilst mounted on a horse .

 

 

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(v) The Alternative Bridleway

The “New Bridleway” which is, we presume, the alternative route to use whilst work is in progress, is unsuitable .The northern stretch goes within 75m of turbine number 6.  As  turbine number 6 is also only 186m  from the present bridleway we have here an unacceptable situation both during construction and when the turbines are commissioned as neither route will be safe to ride. It is foreseeable that even confident horses and riders would find a 125m high turbine just 75m away from them overwhelming so more timid combinations have no chance. The section past turbine number 6 is peat bog and cotton grass at present and therefore impassable. It certainly would not withstand the amount of equestrian traffic that it is expected to cope with. It also does not allow horse riders to by-pass turbines T11 and T12 and Borrow Pit 2 is very close to this section of the bridleway.

The southern part of the alternative bridleway, Hey Fp121, is also unsuitable. The northern end of this footpath does not have a hard base, being moorland in nature, and would soon become seriously damaged with the amount of use it would be subjected to. There are several boggy hollows the path has to pass through and these would become impassable in periods of wet weather.

In its present state the whole of the alternative bridleway is not up to the same standard as the present bridleway. The alternative bridleway must be of the same standard of surface as Rooley Moor Road and there must be a covenant for the maintenance of the surface for at least the life of the turbines. The Council should not be expected to cover the maintenance of this extra bridleway. There should be construction details for a 3 metre wide alternative bridleway with a horse friendly surface and a full account of the Environmental Impact of the bridleway on habitats and drainage of the moor in the Environmental Statement together with an account of a sustainable maintenance programme. 

(vi) The corridor effect

 As has been stated before, to get from Waterfoot to Catley Lane Head the present Pennine Bridleway route is the only option. In section 14.26 reference is made to the corridor effect created by the turbines. When turbines N3 and N4 from the Peel/United Utilities development are considered in relation to T12 and T11 there is a corridor of 550m from the corner where Rooley Moor Road veers west to the line connecting N4 and T11 across the bridleway. Further south there is another corridor of 550m from the line connecting T7 and T6 to the line crossing the bridleway between T2 and T3.  All the turbines mentioned are too close to the bridleway.

 

 

 

 

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 The sensible option

In conclusion, we would like to think that the importance and safety of this recreational route, used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers, will not be sacrificed to big business. The challenge of “Looping the Loop” should be available for the next generation of horse riders so they too can experience the sense of achievement on completion. We have enjoyed this route for 12yrs and we would like to continue to enjoy it. In the September 2014 issue of The British Horse magazine The Mary Towneley Loop appears on “The Bridleway Bucket List”, some of the best rides in the UK that you must do at least once. This demonstrates just how important this part of The Pennine Bridleway is to the equestrian world. The walkers, cyclists and horse riders come to the moor because they seek and enjoy the beauty, wildness and remoteness of the place. Riders transport their horses from neighbouring towns to ride on the moor and enjoy the special atmosphere. This will be irreversibly altered if the turbines are built. The bridleway across Scout Moor and Rooley Moor must not be considered in isolation. It is part of an entity called The Mary Towneley Loop and must be considered as such. If the turbines are built as close as is planned it will compromise the integrity of the Mary Towneley Loop. The development poses too many Health and Safety issues concerning horse riders using the National Trail to seriously consider this application for approval.  The planning documents have too many questionable interpretations and statements, contradictions and instances of insufficient construction details.

 All we are asking is that those 8 turbines proposed by Coronation Power that are too close to the Mary Towneley Loop are moved away from the bridleway so it may be ridden safely and that access to the Coronation Power site finds an alternative route that will not damage the fabric of the moor or put horse riders at risk. If neither of these objectives is achievable we respectfully request that the development should not be granted permission.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Joan Snowdon                                                                                 Irene Pope

Vice Chairman

 

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APPENDIX I

 

Data provided by Natural England

 

APPENDIX  III   PENNINE BRIDLEWAY CASH FLOW   (May 2009)

Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

Total

Construction

Total expenditure

243349

205680

506251

592481

1547761

SE Claim

121675

102840

253126

296241

773882

Acquisition

0

Total expenditure

63204

54416

122924

100066

340610

SE Claim

31602

27208

61462

50033

170305

Facilities

0

Total expenditure

0

0

1938

12725

14663

SE Claim

0

0

969

6363

7332

Staff

0

Total expenditure

57010

106872

112007

70849

346738

SE Claim

28505

53436

56004

35425

173370

0

Annual expenditure

363563

366968

743120

776121

2249772

Annual SE claim

181782

183484

371560

388061

1124887

 The majority, but not all, of the total spend over these four years was for The Mary Towneley Loop

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