A CAMPAIGN group which aims to protect common land has hit out at plans to build up to 24 wind turbines in East Lancashire.

The Open Spaces Society said the project, designed for the moors between Hyndburn and Rossendale, would be a "menace on the landscape".

German firm EnergieKontor is looking at a site on the Haslingden Moor, between Haslingden Road and Grane Road, near Oswaldtwistle and Haslingden.

Because the site is common land the company will need special permission for the site.

Kate Ashbrook of the conser-vation group said: "Haslingden is a wonderful oasis among the Lancashire towns. Here the public have the right to walk and ride over every square inch of the common.

"The wind turbines with their associated paraphernalia would be a gross intrusion on the landscape and will be hig-hly visible from the common and from further afield."

A consultation period with residents has finished and a pl-anning application is expected to be submitted to Hyndburn Council and Rossendale Coun-cil for approval as the site is on the borough boundary.

EnergieKontor bosses believe that 10 turbines of up to 122m to blade tip could be sensitively sited on Haslingden Moor and they are continuing investig-ations into the possibility of positioning turbines on Oswaldtwistle Moor.

Some 24 turbines could be built, each up to 130 metres high.

Judith Cornfield of Energi-eKontor said: "Our environm-ental investigations should be completed soon and we are expecting to hold a public exhibition where people will be able to see what the proposed wind farm will look like before the end of the year.

"A full planning application will be made to Hyndburn Council and Rossendale Council following the exhibition."

She said that if 10 turbines were built they would generate enough green electricity for 13,500 homes, a town twice the size of Haslingden.