A ROW to decide if a controversial animal research laboratory can move in the Meon Valley has taken a fresh turn.

Wickham Laboratories wants to leave its current base in Wickham and move around seven miles north to Lower Upham near Bishop's Waltham.

It aims to build some new laboratories and offices at a more remote site at Torbay Farm in Sciviers Lane. The plan also includes a security fence to enclose the land.

Animal right protesters have held regular demonstrations in Wickham against the firm, including annual marches through the town.

The company has twice asked permission from Winchester City Council to approve its transfer to Lower Upham.

However, the authority has blocked the firm on both occasions after residents living near the proposed site raised concerns.

Wickham Laboratories has now lodged an appeal against both decisions. A hearing into the planning row is expected in the spring.