THE largest on-shore windfarm in the UK could be about to spread its reach even further.

Plans have been unveiled by Peel Energy to expand the Scout Moor windfarm near Edenfield, which is already home to 26 giant turbines.

But after months of controversy, generated when the original development opened in September 2008, Peel bosses have been urged to talk to residents.

Householders protested that their foundations were placed in peril the last time transporters, containing the huge turbines and blades, rolled through the Valley.

Council leader Coun Alyson Barnes said: “There is already a major presence at Scout Moor, and while I’m supportive of renewable energy, I hope that Peel will be sensitive to those living at that end of the valley.

“I know they are committed to a high level of consultation with residents and this will be necessary.

“People living there had to put up with a high level of disruption and it would seem that the turbines would be delivered via a similar path as last time.”

Bosses at Peel say the existing turbines generated 153,000 kilowatt hours in 2009 and nearly 132,000 kwh in 2010 - more than enough to accommodate Rossendale’s entire energy needs in a year and around 40 per cent of neighbouring Rochdale’s.

Jon England, Peel spokesman, said: “The existing wind farm has consistently generated large amounts of electricity, despite the fact that the UK has experienced a period of lower wind speeds over the last couple of years.

“The public open days and school visits have also been very popular and have helped dispel the myths associated with wind power.”

Unlike previous applications, the wind farm proposals will not be voted upon by Rossendale or Rochdale councils but the Infastructure Planning Commission, a government quango established to deal with such major projects.