The Manor is one of the land owners associated with the current 26 turbine wind farms situated to the North West of the Rochdale Borough. This was originally developed by Peel Holdings and is now currently in the ownership of Munich RE.
The attraction of wind farms in this part of the southern Pennines is that the moors represent some of the windiest parts of England. Typical wind speeds are around 9 meters a second compared with 6 to 6.5 in most other parts of England. A second advantage is that because of their proximity to the local towns of Rochdale, Bury, Oldham and Manchester the electricity generated can be fed directly into the distribution grid. Not everyone is keen on wind farms, but those being developed and those proposed by the Manor of Rochdale on the Manor’s moors, are a good distance from houses. If they are looked at as sculptural and the environmental benefits considered then we hope that local people will come to live comfortably with them. They are certainly more attractive than a line of pylons across the landscape. Since Scout Moor was opened many local people have taken advantage of the good roads up to the wind farm to walk and now cycle a great deal more easily than was ever possible before. The roads enable people to avoid the boggy peat and enjoy the views.
There are advantages to the local community through the business rates to the community. Scout Moor is currently making payments to the local councils amounting to approximately £700,000 per year and these will grow substantially over the 25 year life of the wind farm. The Manor receives royalty payments towards the use of the land for the wind farms and the wind farm operators make a commitment to maintain and improve the moorland surrounding, to maintain the quality of water, which feeds directly into the reservoirs around Rochdale. The construction, maintenance and servicing of the wind farms create a significant number of jobs in the construction industry, which feed into the property rental sector and the local construction firms. The creation of jobs also adds significantly to the prosperity of local businesses such as hotels, B&B’s, restaurants and cafes, whose services are used on a daily basis during the construction phase, but also stretching out over the next twenty five years as part of the servicing and maintenance contracts.