PROTESTERS against Honda’s plan to build three wind turbines have collected 1,800 names on a petition.

Members of the campaign group Ill Wind, which formed last summer to oppose the proposal for three 120m-high wind turbines at the car manufacturer’s South Marston plant, presented the list of names to Swindon Council ahead of a planning meeting next week.

The application, submitted by Honda in conjunction with energy firm Ecotricity, has suffered several setbacks and fierce opposition from residents in neighbouring Stratton St Margaret and South Marston.

It was initially due to go before the council’s planning committee in October last year but concerns were raised by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that the turbines might interfere with its radar.

Residents’ main concerns centred around noise levels, ‘shadow flicker’ and the height of the turbines.

But an Ecotricity spokesman said the three turbines combined would produce enough electricity to power 5,300 homes a year.

Andrew Davidson, 59, and Kay Long, 58, both of South Marston, presented the petition yesterday and said there was strong feeling among locals.

Mr Davidson said: “We are hoping that this will convey the strength of feeling with which people oppose this application.

“The nearest one is within 325 metres of a dwelling and they will overpower people’s homes and gardens and cause a huge and unnecessary detriment to them.

“It is absolutely not a case of nimbyism – we already have an industrial estate nearby.

“And we wouldn’t have a problem if these were the same size as the ones at Watchfield.

“Green energy is excellent as long as it is in the right place and these turbines are arguably not the right form of green energy anyway.”

Mrs Long said: “Around two thirds of the signatures actually come from Stratton and the strength of feeling on the doorstep is very strong.”

A spokesman for Honda said: “We are confident that our submitted application contains all the necessary detailed information needed by Swindon Borough Council to make an informed decision.”

The application is set to go before the planning committee meeting on Tuesday.