Campaigners have objected to plans to site a windfarm on the west Pennine moors.

The site is on common land on Haslingden Moor, Rossendale, and needs the consent of the Environment Secretary Hilary Benn before it can go ahead.

Energiekontor has applied to Defra to build ten wind turbines on the land. The Open Spaces Society (OSS), which campaigns for the protection of commons and rights of way, says the application should be thrown out.

OSS general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “Haslingden Moor is a wonderful oasis among the Lancashire conurbations. Here, people have the right to walk and ride over every square inch of the common.

“The wind turbines, with their associated paraphernalia of an access track, electricity substation, and temporary fencing, construction compound and crane hardstanding, will be a gross intrusion on the landscape and will be highly visible from the common itself and from further afield.

“The development will disturb the public’s peaceful enjoyment of the common and may well frighten horses, putting them and their riders at risk.

“Moreover, the works will suburbanise this special, relatively wild area, which is particular precious because it is open country close to towns and cities – a vital lung for walkers and riders.”

Energiekontor is based in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, but its parent company has its head office in Bremerhaven, north Germany. It has windfarms in Wales and Devon and has submitted applications in North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Fife.

The OSS says the developers have not demonstrated that the works will be ‘Of benefit to the community’ as required by legislation.