PLANS for a new six-turbine wind farm in Woodmancott have been rejected by councillors at Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.
TCI Renewables applied to the borough council for full planning permission to erect the group of 130-metre high turbines on land close to junction 8 of the M3, between Basingstoke and Wnchester, in June 2013.
But councillors on the borough council’s development control committee last night voted to support planning officer’s recommendation for refusal, because of concerns over ecology and the impact on nearby Lasham airfield.
Bruce Hutt, director at TCI Renewables, defended the scheme in front of a packed audience of residents and parish councillors at the meeting.
He said: “This will generate enough electricity for 11,000 homes. There is limited impact to residents, limited impact to views and limited impact on heritage assets, aviation and the Chilbolton Observatory.
"It is right that smaller effects are outweighed against substantial benefits the scheme would bring.”
But Jonathon Moseley, a member of the Save Our Scenic Hampshire Downs (SOSH) campaign group, fiercely objected to the application at the meeting, saying: “Our group is made up of individuals and business from the area of the proposed site.
"All of us understand the need for renewable energy but the wind turbines are not appropriate to the environment where they will be sited. This is not a windy site. These turbines are not sustainable, environmentally or socially.”
Conservative borough councillor for Oakley and North Waltham, Diane Taylor moved a motion to reject the application at the meeting, telling the committee: “I have to say this is one of the most impacting applications I have dealt with in my seven or eight years on this committee. I am not in principle against wind farms.
“This cannot be an acceptable impact in my view. Whether you like them or love them, they are massive industrial machines. When you get people going on a walk, they are going to get half way along and say 'there are wind turbines, we must be in Basingstoke' but I don’t want that to happen. I very strongly urge members to support the recommendations of officers.”
Labour councillors David Potter, Michael Westbrook and George Hood, and Liberal Democrat councillor, Michael Bound voted in favour of the application.
But the application was rejected after Conservative councillors Donald Sherlock, Anne Court, Stuart Frost, Diane Taylor, Marilyn Tucker and Paul Miller voted against the proposals. Liberal Democrat councillor, Eric Dunlop and Independent member, Chris Tomblin also rejected the application.