A CONTROVERSIAL bid for a windfarm on Oswaldtwistle Moor could reach the planning stage in three months, more than two years after it was first mooted.
Developer Energie-Kontor Ltd is currently consulting with Hyndburn Council and two other affected local authorities – Blackburn with Darwen and Rossendale – over the plans for 12 turbines.
It is estimated the windfarm would generate up to 72.2 million kwh of electricity per year, which could power more than half of the borough’s households.
EnergieKontor Ltd’s UK general manager Peter Harrison told the Observer that an environmental impact assessment and planning application would probably take the rest of the summer to complete.
He said: "Realistically we are probably looking at early October for a planning application.
"We have been consulting with stakeholders and when the application is formally submitted to Hyndburn Borough Council they will consult with their consultees as well."
The application has been scaled down from the original plans for 24 turbines on Oswaldtwistle and Hasling-den moors, so that the windfarm is now entirely located within the Hyndburn boundary.
Oswaldtwistle Moor was chosen as it is outside the water catchment area for Calf Hey, Ogden and Holden Wood reservoirs which are used for public water supply.
EnergieKontor also claims that the peat on the moor has largely been artificially drained and, as a result, the blanket bog is currently degraded and of relatively low ecological value.
A further obstacle to the Haslingden site was archeological importance through the position of Thirteen Stone Hill, recorded in the National Monuments Record as the site of a possible stone circle.
The developers say that bodies such as English Heritage have been consulted on the archeological and cultural heritage impact of the scheme.
Oswaldtwistle Moor includes the Dry Hill burial mound, believed to date back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age.
Chris Whalen, of High Street, Oswaldtwistle, runs on the moors every weekend and is worried about the plans, which he described as "monstrosities".
He said: "I don’t want them situating a windfarm on top of an archeological site that, to me, is very important."
He has also asked EnergieKontor to provide the results of an ecological survey, spagma moss species, noise emissions and carbon dioxide levels produced when installing each mast.