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    Minister approves application for exchange of common land
05/05/06

Rural Affairs Minister Jim Knight has approved an application to exchange common land related to the development of a wind farm on common land at Scout Moor, near Rochdale, Lancashire.

moorland

Mr Knight has accepted the recommendation of the independent Inspector who held a public inquiry into the applications to make Orders of Exchange under section 147 of the Inclosure Act 1845.

An application to construct and operate 26 wind turbines was also made under the Electricity Act to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for the same development. The Inspector considered the applications in tandem and recommended that the applications be approved. DTI accordingly approved the application, and made the announcement in May 2005.

Mr Knight has accepted the Inspector's conclusions and his recommendation to make the Orders of Exchange.

Mr Knight said:

“In reaching this decision, we considered the interests of the land owners, those with common rights and those with other access rights. We balanced these against the relevant legislation and criteria”.

“I am satisfied with the Inspector's findings that the exchanges are beneficial to the parties and the terms just and reasonable. Based on these findings, the decision to make the Orders is clear.

Mr Knight said that all wind farm applications that concerned common land were dealt with according to the merits of each case, including benefits to the land's owners, the interests of commoners, and the interests of the general public.

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