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Windfarm plans could result in 80 turbines

There could be up to EIGHTY wind turbines on the hills above Rochdale if plans for another wind farm are given the the go-ahead.

Plans are being drawn up for a new wind farm on Rooley Moor which could have up to 17 turbines, each 135 metres high.

And with no regulations in place limiting the number of turbines in the borough the wind farm could be built in addition to the proposed expansion of the 26-turbine Scout Moor Wind Farm, which could double in size, and a 12-turbine site set to be erected on Crook Hill.

Coronation Power, which is behind plans for the new site on Rooley Moor, has already held preliminary discussions with the council but no application has yet been put forward.

Mark Robinson, chief planning officer at Rochdale council, said: “The council has received a request for a scoping opinion on behalf of Coronation Power for a proposed wind farm on Rooley Moor.

“The proposal suggests a wind farm comprising 17 turbines of up to 135 metres in height on a site of approximately 460 acres of land within both Rochdale and Rossendale boroughs.

The number, height and location of any turbines have not been confirmed at this time.”

Currently there are no regulations in place to limit the number of wind turbines that can be built in the borough.

Instead planning applications are assessed against any relevant local and national planning policies.

Mr Robinson added: “This scoping report seeks a formal decision from the council to establish the methodologies and environmental issues to be addressed by the developer and the level of supporting information needed by the council to register and determine any planning application for this development.

“The land in question forms part of a wider area of land which has recently been identified by Peel Energy as having the potential to support an expansion of the existing Scout Moor Wind Farm.

“Any planning application, if submitted in the future, would be the subject of public consultation.”

Peel Energy, which runs Scout Moor Wind Farm, is looking to expand the site, which could see it doubling in size, and are looking at land inside and around the existing wind farm – including Rooley Moor – to place new turbines.

Jon England, Peel Energy project director, said: “We are aware that Coronation Power is considering developing wind turbines on Rooley Moor – an area that Peel Energy has also identified as having potential to form part of the Scout Moor Wind Farm expansion, following early studies and community consultation.

“The additional interest reaffirms the suitability of the South Pennines for wind power generation, significantly improving energy security for the region and helping to meet climate change objectives.”

No-one from Coronation Power was available for comment.

And we can also reveal that plans to expand Scout Moor have been held up and are now up to six months behind schedule. It is believed that a planning application will not be submitted to the government until next July.

Mr England added: “The project timetable has slipped slightly because of some additional requests made by the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit at the Planning Inspectorate who have the final responsibility of deciding whether additional turbines can be added to the existing Scout Moor Wind Farm.”