A WIND farm proposed on the moors above Bacup would blight the countryside, harm recreation and should be turned down, according to an independent report.

Landscape consultants Julie Martin Associates, commissioned by Rossendale Council, said that the proposed wind farm at Reaps Moss, Britannia, would significantly affect the special open character, visual amenity and recreational experience' of the area.

The report also said that the four 125m high turbines would affect recreation and could potentially deter people from using the public rights of way in the area and it would impact on character and views from the Pennine edge and on the Southern Pennines Heritage Area.

Rossendale, Calderdale, Rochdale and Lancashire councils asked the North Yorkshire-based consultants to look at Coronation Power's proposals for three wind farms at Reaps Moss, Todmorden Moor and Crook Hill.

Coronation says they will help generate clean and sustainable energy, and tackle the harmful effects of climate change.

But the consultants recommended that all three plans be rejected because of their visual impact, especially those at Crook Hill, near Walsden.

The report also says the Reaps Moss plan is also contrary to regional planning guidance and Countryside Agency advice on the preferred separation distance between wind turbines and bridleways, as well as Rossendale and Lancashire policies.

Whitworth Town Council has already unanimously agreed that the wind farm should be turned down and has recommended this to Rossendale Council, which will make a decision on the planning application over the next few weeks.

A spokesperson for Rossendale Council said: "We will take into account the conclusions of this report before determining the planning application relating to the Reaps Moss wind farm."