The Manor is one of the land owners associated with the current 26 turbine wind farm situated to the North West of the Rochdale Borough, on Scout Moor. 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 is 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 are 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 cycle a great deal more easily than was possible before. The roads enable people to avoid the boggy peat and enjoy the views.
There are advantages to the local community through business rates. 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 surrounding moorland, and the quality of the 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 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. These services are used on a daily basis during the construction phase, and will continue to be used over the next twenty five years as part of the servicing and maintenance contracts.