Conservation campaigners have backed objectors to two windfarm applications in north Devon.

Two separate companies are seeking permission to build wind turbines close to the sites of other planned windfarms. Coronation Power plans four turbines at Bickham Moor, near Oakford, and Airtricity Developments wants to erect nine at Three Moors, north of Knowstone.

The Open Spaces Society says that if all the developments are allowed, 25 turbines will blight the fringes of Exmoor National Park.

The society’s general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We are dismayed that the wind-energy companies keep applying to erect turbines in this part of north Devon.  

“There are already two outstanding applications nearby, at Batsworthy Cross and Cross Moor

“These turbines will be visible from the hills around and, in particular, from the popular southern hills of Exmoor, an area of immense natural beauty. The paraphernalia that accompanies the turbines will also be an eyesore.

“The development will be seen from the Two Moors Way, a much used long-distance path. People’s enjoyment of this area will be severely impaired.

“This tranquil, unspoilt area of north Devon cannot accommodate such an intrusion. Its intimate character will be destroyed.  Moreover, this development is bound to have an adverse effect on the tourist industry, on which the area depends.

“There are a large number of objections to both applications, so clearly they are very controversial.

“We too have urged both district councils to reject these damaging proposals.”

Coronation Power said the Bickham Moor scheme would deliver 12MW of electricity which it claims would power 6,300 homes. The London-based company also wants to build a windfarm at Reaps Moss, in Rossendale in the west Pennines.

Delaware-registered Airtricity has built windfarms at Ardrossan in Ayrshire and has developments in Ireland.