A £70M expansion of Scout Moor has hit delays with developers admitting no planning application will be submitted until 2014 at the earliest.
Peel Energy outlined plans in November 2011 to more than double the 26-turbine wind farm.
They had originally targeted gaining final planning approval as soon as autumn 2013, with construction scheduled to begin the following year.
The wind energy giant has now begun the process of applying for a Development Consent Order for its application, which will involve consultation with Rochdale, Rossendale and Lancashire County councils.
But the plans have been complicated by rival developer Coronation Power announcing its intention to build its own wind farm on a 460-acre plot of moorland above Rochdale within the proposed eastern expansion zone of Scout Moor.
And, as revealed by the Observer last month, Coronation Power chiefs say they will submit their plans for an 18-turbine development on Rooley Moor which lies just west of Whitworth early in the New Year.
At a recent meeting of Rossendale council it had been suggested that attempts were being made by Peel Energy and Coronation Power to bring about a joint application.
But Peel have distanced themselves from these claims.
Project manager Jon England said: “It’s unlikely that there will be an application before 2014 and at present there is no agreement in place with Coronation Power about a joint submission.”
The council said the deal with the landowner has held up the planning process and expects to be asked for its opinion on the Scout Moor proposal in the new year.
Mark Robinson, chief planning officer for Rochdale council, said: “In terms of Scout Moor, we understand Peel remain committed to the project but the finalising of agreements with landowners is taking longer than anticipated.
“The scale of the proposal is such that any decision on the expansion will be made by the National Infrastructure Directorate (NID) and not the council.
“However, consultation with the council and the community on options for the layout and scale of the wind farm will need to take place before any application can be made to NID.
“We expect to be consulted on options for the expansion of the wind farm during next year.
“As regards Rooley Moor, we have been informed of an intention to lodge a planning application with Rochdale.
“The most likely date for this at present is March 2013.”
Scout Moor, which opened in September 2008 after a lengthy planning dispute, was the largest onshore wind farm in England with a current operating capacity of 65MW, but has now been overtaken by Fullabrook in Devon.
Peel Energy no longer own the existing wind farm after it was sold to Munich Reinsurance last year.
But the company are still keen to press on with the plans for the expansion which could see a total of at least 52 turbines on the site.
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