FRIENDS of the Earth members in Hampshire are outraged after Hampshire County Council agreed to ban wind turbines on council land.

Ray Cobbett, representing Friends of the Earth Hampshire, said: “As far we can see this policy is evidence-free and appears to be based almost entirely on subjective opinions by people who don’t like wind farms.

“Faced with today’s challenges it is completely inadequate for the county council to say it supports renewable energy while banning one of the most advanced technologies we have in the UK.

“Capturing electricity from a free resource like the wind makes economic and environmental sense. Councillors should think of the needs of tomorrow’s generation before banning greener technology.”

The Conservative council imposed the ban saying the benefits of clean, sustainable wind energy did not currently outweigh the “adverse impacts” of turbines in the countryside.

A council report said that while some of Hampshire’s landscape was protected as a national park or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, other pockets of open ountryside and “ancient landscape” were not.

It added: “The introduction of large wind turbines and wind farms within rural Hampshire will have very significant impacts in terms of visual intrusion and damage to historic quality and to tranquillity.”

But the wind farm ban has been welcomed by countryside campaigners – and some would like the council to go even further.

Douglas Patterson, chairman of Keep Hampshire Green, which is campaigning against a wind farm at Bullington Cross, north of Winchester, said: “We welcome the signal. But what we would really like is for Hampshire to go a step further and follow Lincolnshire’s lead and recommend there should be 2km between large turbines and inhabited locations or settlements.”