A CONTROVERSIAL wind farm in Rossendale which prompted 340 objections from residents has been given the go-ahead after an appeal.

Plans for four turbines at Scar End Farm, Weir, were unanimously rejected by Rossendale Council in February.

But energy firm TGC Renewables took its case to the Planning Inspectorate and has been granted permission to install the turbines.

Residents’ group War on Weir Wind Farm spearheaded the opposition.

The findings were released in a report yesterday by Elizabeth Ord, an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to review the decision.

Coun Jimmy Eaton, a member of the planning committee that turned down the plans, said he ‘couldn’t understand’ the revised decision.

He said: “I’m very disappointed. I couldn’t understand why the developers were allowed to appeal in the first place. It’s not as if the vote was a close one. It was seven to nil in favour of rejection.

“I’m worried that this appeal sets an example. Future applicants will see this decision and know they can challenge the council and win.

“This could be the start of a lot more wind farms in Rossendale. Already the view from the top of Deerplay Moor is spoiled by them.”

The report ruled that the turbines must be reduced from their original proposed size of 47.5m to 34.2m, and their power output is halved from 100kW to 50kW.

It concluded: “Whilst there would be some adverse impact on visual amenity for some receptors, given the small scale of the development, the overall effect would be acceptable in planning terms.

“Taking all matters into account, the benefits...outweigh the adverse impacts.”