A PROTEST walk is to be staged over controversial plans to build an extra 16 wind turbines at a Rossendale wind farm, is to be staged.

The proposal was approved by the borough council last September after Peel Energy and United Utilities submitted the joint venture to build 13 115-metre turbines and three 100-metre turbines at Scout Moor, between Rawtenstall and Edenfield.

The council’s development control committee voted to approve the plans by a majority of five to two.

The walk comes ahead of a public inquiry into that decision which is expected to take place on November 11.

Protesters have been asked to meet in Cowpe Road in Waterfoot at 10.30am on Sunday, May 29, for a mass walk along the Pennine Bridleway to Waugh’s Well.

The well was built in 1866 to commemorate Edwin Waugh, a successful Lancashire dialect poet.

Walkers can also meet at Catley Lane Head at 9.30am and both groups are expected to meet at the well at noon.

The original plan was to build 26 turbines at the recommissioned wind farm, but that was subsequently changed to 16.

Planners had recommended the proposal for approval. Ministry of Defence officials had objected to the plans on the grounds that the turbines would affect air traffic control radar at Warton Airfield.

Edenfield Village Residents’ Association and the Holcombe Society had also opposed the plans.

Protester Falmai Binns, who lives in Holcombe, said: “This walk is all about expressing our views against these plans.

“People from Rossendale, Edenfield, Ramsbottom and Holcombe all don’t want this to go ahead.

“We are not able to formally enter the inquiry as we don’t have the resources for a barrister but we have been invited to speak.

“Peel Energy and Rossendale Council will both be giving evidence so at the moment the main two groups at the inquiry are all for it, which is concerning."

“This walk will hopefully demonstrate the strength of feeling in the area against this plan and make a difference later this year.”

Rossendale MP Jake Berry said: “Residents are right to show their strength of feeling and this matter will be decided after a full and exhaustive public inquiry in which they will be free to make their views known.”