CAMPAIGNERS against a wind farm north of Winchester have sent out a strong message of protest.

Some 200 people gathered at the site of the proposed six turbine farm in Woodmancott Down, near Micheldever.

The demonstration was organised by campaign group Save Our Scenic (SOS) Hampshire Downs.

The group argue that the 130m tall turbines will have a “extensive and significant adverse impact” on the countryside, as well as damage wildlife, and pose a risk to aircraft from nearby Popham Airfield.

Jonathan Moseley, its spokesman, said the turnout shows the unpopularity of the proposal from TCI Renewables.

He said: “It just goes to show the strength of feeling that is building up against this application. It is an opportunistic and speculative application.”

According to the company the wind farm would produce enough electricity to power 8,000 homes.

TCI bosses have pledged to give £2,500 to the community for every megawatt of electricity generated and according to the company’s planning statement this could equate to £37,500 each year.

However Myles Bray, a 41-year-old dad of four, who lives 200m from the site, said he still objects.

“We are very strongly against it. Having spent the best part of two years investigating, it will have a massively detrimental effect on the community.”

Since the application was lodged with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council more than 1,500 comments have been received.

Winchester City Council opposes the plans and said the turbines would have an “unacceptable impact upon the unspoilt landscape character of the area and its contribution to the setting of the South Downs National Park”.

And Mr Moseley added that together with a separate wind farm application at Bullington Cross that the borough is at risk of more wind farms applications in the borough.

“We have got to make sure we don’t allow this to happen,” he said. “Because if one is approved then it is very difficult for other planning departments to say no.”

The borough council said the application will go before the Development Control committee, but added that no date has yet been set.