CAMPAIGNERS are gearing up for the next stage in a battle to stop four 120 metre high wind turbines being built in the Berkeley Vale.

An appeal by green energy firm Ecotricity against Stroud District Council’s decision to refuse its application for the wind farm between Stinchcombe and the A38 will get underway in January.

Before then campaign group Save Berkeley Vale is fundraising to raise £20,000 to pay for their part in the appeal process.

The group has hired legal help and a planning consultant to aid their case.

"We are ready to fight this and we are having to pay for it out of our own pockets," said Jack Sant, chairman of Save Berkeley Vale.

"Apart from the visual impact, which will be terrible, we cannot see why anyone would want to put wind turbines on land at Standle Farm in Stinchcombe," he said.

"As a country we’d have to be dumb to allow that to happen. There is no wind there."

He said the Save Berkeley Vale group was a varied mix of people, some of whom would be able to see the turbines from their windows and others who would have no view of them at all.

"We all believe there will be a noise issue from these turbines," Mr Sant added.

Around 50 people attended a public meeting for Save Berkeley Vale on Saturday, including Neil Carmichael, MP for the Stroud constituency.

Mike Cheshire, spokesman for Ecotricity, said: “We’ve always been confident that the detailed plan we submitted was a good one - the fact that Stroud District Council’s own planning department recommended it for approval shows they did too.

“Gloucestershire is well behind in playing its part in making more energy from home-grown sources like wind, to make us less dependent on foreign coal, gas and nuclear sources.

"This wind park could help change that and make energy for over 6,700 homes - it’s where the silent majority want their future supplies to come from.”