A CONTROVERSIAL £50million wind farm which has generated protests throughout its development has been officially opened.

Schoolchildren from Edenfield Primary cut the ribbon and declared the 26 Blackpool Tower-sized tubines, at Scout Moor, Edenfield, officially open at a ceremony attended by councillors and construction bosses today.

The landmark tubines, which have a capacity of 65 megawatts and can provide enough electricity to power 40,000 homes, have been at the centre of controversy since proposals for the wind farm were announced.

But there was nothing but praise for the development at its official unveiling.

The farm was given the go-ahead in 2005 despite opposition from campaigners, who criticised the wind turbines's effectiveness in cutting carbon emissions.

Throughout the construction residents in nearby Edenfield have complained about deliveries of parts and expressed fears about noise from the 518-feet high structures.

And MP for Rossendale Janet Anderson tried unsuccessfully to block plans for the farm being given the go-ahead, stating that it ‘should not be allowed to destroy a beautiful area of East Lancashire countryside.’ But today the 100-strong party at the opening ceremony were enthusiastic about the wind farm.

Pupils from Edenfield Primary were chosen to open the wind farm as they have been studying turbines in recent lessons.

Headteacher Janet Reidy, said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity that all the children have been looking forward to.

"They’ve been learning about the turbines in lessons and it’s given them a real boost.

“It’s certainly a day they’ll remember for a long time in the future and with all this attention they know what it’s like to be a film star now.”

Peel Holdings funded the wind farm and the building work was being carried out by McNicholas Construction.

Richard Dibley, Peel Energy’s development manager, said: “I am delighted this scheme is now complete and is set to provide low carbon energy for the UK.

“It has been quite a journey from the day the site was first identified and we’d like to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.”

A wind farm family fun day will take place at Owd Betts pub, Norden at 10am on Saturday.