SUPPORTERS of a proposed new wind farm have said that comm-unities in Rossendale could share in a £2million community fund if turbines are approved.

Bosses at Coronation Power have also announced that the number of giant windmills at Rooley Moor windfarm will be reduced from 17 to 12.

Campaigners have already formed the Friends of Rooley Moor Road to protect a mid-19th Century cobbled route from Waterfoot to Rochdale.

And Rossendale MP Jake Berry has also voiced his opposition to the original scheme as part of his ‘Not On Our Hills’ protest movement.

But Vickram Mirchan-dani, Coronation Pow-er’s managing director, said: “We have listened to people’s views and made some significant changes to our plans. We are willing to receive further comments from interested parties as we still have some further work to do before we finalise and submit our application.”

The energy firm says it has acted after carrying out public consultations on its proposals.

If the plant is is built, a £2million community fund would be created to support educational and environmental initia-tives.

Further revisions, according to its planning agents, will result in the nearest turbine being at least 170 metres away from the Pennine Bridleway.

And the company has pledged to carry out extra studies to placate the horse-riding comm-unity, by improving bridleways during and after construction.

Close consideration would also be given to protecting the cobbled section of Rooley Moor Road while the windfarm is being built, agents insist.

But the scheme’s architects have stressed that the route is still ‘the most viable option to safely access the site’.

The final planning application is expected to be submitted to Rossendale and Rochd-ale councils in weeks.