A HIGH profile author and environmental lobbyist has become involved in proposed plans to site wind turbines on Oswaldtwistle moors.
US writer Bill Bryson, recently elected as national president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), visited the moorland site on Wednesday as part of a fact-finding visit to the region - his first since being elected.
Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, but lives in England and is meeting local campaigners to discuss key areas including farming, affordable rural housing, wind farms and landscapes being scarred by overhead power lines.
Energy company Energiekontor UK has asked for Government approval to build 10 turbines on moorland above Haslingden and is continuing its investigations into positioning additional turbines on Oswaldtwistle Moor.
Environmental consultants are working on the proposals for the wind farm of 24 turbines and have been investigating the potential environmental impact on the area.
The company claims the turbines for the Haslingden part of the wind farm could be 'sensitively sited' and would generate enough green electricity for 13,500 homes - a town twice the size of Haslingden.
It plans a public exhibition where people will be able to see what the proposed wind farm will look like before the end of the year and follow it with a full planning application to Hyndburn Council and Rossendale Council.
The presence of Bryson does not necessarily herald opposition to the plans.
CPRE North West chairman, Nick Thompson, said: "He is coming to see for himself as a range of campaign work we are doing, to ensure that we maintain some of the finest bits of countryside in the whole of England.
"What Bill will see is how we are attempting constructively to ensure that the precious inheritance we have here in the North West can be maintained by ensuring that social and environmental issues are not sacrificed to a single-minded obsession for economic development at any cost."