Campaigners against the Grange Farm Wind Farm near West Ashton are planning to buy a tethered balloon to mark the height of the proposed turbines.

The balloon is expected to cost about £1,200, but they argue it will be a small price to pay for an effective demonstration of the impact 130m high turbines might have on the area.

Stop Grange Farm Wind Farm is also urging its members to write to Wiltshire Council supporting its Core Strategy document, which sets minimum distances between turbines and people’s homes.

Group member Judy Glasson said: “We got the balloon from a group in Dorset who chased off their own wind farm application, when they came to our open meeting in June.

“They said it was very effective and, although this is not a small amount of money, we have agreed it is worthwhile as it will show how huge these turbines really are.

“It can be difficult to picture it, but with the blimp there people will know.

“On that hill people will be able to see the balloon from all around Wiltshire, and from Somerset as well, like the Lafarge chimney.

“We will need to get permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly it.

“Of course, if we don’t get permission it will raise further questions about the turbines being there.”

The campaigners hope their show of support for the Core Strategy document will convince Government planning inspectors to allow an amendment, put forward by councillors shortly before it was submitted, stipulating minimum distances between turbines and homes.

The 130m high turbines proposed for Grange Farm would then likely fall foul of planning policy, as the nearest homes are within one kilometre, less than half the stipulated minimum.

Mrs Glasson added: “The Core Strategy could well be our best way of challenging the plans as, if this amendment is approved, it can’t be built.

“Of course, the strategy applies to the whole of Wiltshire, so we want as many people to support it as possible and stop inappropriate developments like that.

“We are getting bigger and bigger as a group – we have more than 300 members now but more are always welcome.”

Visit www.stopgrange for more information.