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Large turnout is set for wind farm protest

Ramblers, cyclists and horse riders will trek through an area of moorland in protest at plans to create a new wind farm.

Coronation Power plan to place 12 wind turbines on land at Rooley Moor – between Whitworth and Rochdale.

But The Friends of Rooley Moor group claim the scheme could ‘devastate’ the area. Friends group chairman Graham Wright said he is expecting large numbers of protesters to join the walk this Sunday.

He said: “We already have England’s largest wind farm with Scout Moor, which is adjacent to Rooley Moor.

“The road on Rooley Moor is known as ‘cotton famine road’ and is of real historical importance. It is also part of the Pennine Bridleway, the Mary Townley Loop and used by Rossendale Harriers.”

In March, Coronation Power announced plans to cut the number of turbines from 17 to 12. Bosses said the changes would reduce visual impact and increase the distance away from houses.

A £2m fund could be shared among Rossendale community groups for education and environment initiatives if the plans are approved.

Coronation Power said they plan to submit plans for the reduced scheme to Rossendale and Rochdale councils in June.

Spokesman Paul Taylor said: “We have listened to the local community comments over recent months and many people will know that we have scaled back our plans as a result of the concerns that have been raised.”

Almost 400 people have joined the ‘Friends of Rooley Moor Road’ group on Facebook.

The six-mile protest walk will set off from Waterfoot, at the bottom of Cowpe Road, at 9.30am on Sunday, May 25. Those starting out from the Rochdale side will meet at Catley Lane Head, at 10.30am. The groups will meet at the site of the old Moorcock pub at midday.