Plans refused for England's largest onshore wind farm on Scout Moor

Scout Moor wind farm Image copyright Paul Anderson
Image caption Scout Moor wind farm currently has 26 turbines

The government has overturned plans for what would have been England's largest onshore wind farm.

Peel Energy wanted to add a further 16 wind turbines at Scout Moor between Rochdale and Rossendale.

Planning permission was granted in 2015 but that decision was called in by the government.

Its final ruling rejected proposals for a further 14 turbines in Rossendale but approved plans for two in Rochdale.

The announcement by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid follows a public inquiry into the planning decision by Rochdale and Rossendale councils.

Current top five wind farms in England

Keadby, Lincolnshire 68 MW (34 turbines - 2 MW each)

Fullabrook Down, Devon 66 MW (22 turbines - 3 MW each)

Scout Moor, Lancashire 65 MW (26 turbines - 2.5 MW each)

Little Cheyne Court, Kent 59.8 MW (26 turbines - 2.3 MW each)

Ray Estate, Northumberland 54.4 MW (16 turbines - 3.4 MW each)

MW = Megawatts

Source: RenewableUK

Mr Javid agreed with the planning inspector that the area which fell under application A, on land in Rossendale, was valued for its "openness and tranquillity".

The 115m wind turbines would have had a "significant adverse effect" on the landscape and views, he ruled.

While he acknowledged, the two turbines in application B, in Rochdale, would also have a "significant adverse effect" on the openness of green belt land, he said the benefits of the increased production of renewable energy would "outweigh the harm identified".

The turbines in application B would "integrate well with the existing wind farm", he added.

There are 26 existing wind turbines on Scout Moor producing electricity for the national grid.

Proposals to double the size of the site had already been scaled down after a public consultation.

Peel Energy have six weeks to apply to the High Court if they want to challenge the decision.

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