THE company behind the controversial East Stoke wind farm has cut its number of proposed turbines by a third.

Infinergy, which wanted to build six 125-metre turbines at Masters Pit, Puddletown Road, now plans just four for the site.

Project bosses say this downsize is a response to residents' concerns, an explanation that has been rubbished by wind farm opponents.

Dorset Against Rural Turbines (Dart) president Terry Stewart said: "The main reason we are against these proposals, and we are still very much against them, is the visual impact they will have in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

"Each of these turbines is taller than Salisbury Cathedral, so reducing the number from six to four makes no real difference."

Dart has already amassed a 1,000-signature petition calling for district planners to scrap the scheme.

Infinergy, which lodged a detailed planning application with Purbeck District Council in March, will lodge this addendum within the next few weeks.

Project director Herb Lindlahr said: "Infinergy has continued to consult with statutory consultees and the wider public. We have taken on board comments from all consultees and have subsequently revised the scheme.

"The environment and neighbours are our priority and removing these two turbines demonstrates our commitment to consultation.

"Despite the reduction in the number of turbines the project still gives us the opportunity to provide a renewable energy source for Dorset."

Infinergy will contact local residents and key stakeholders over the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Dart insists opposition to the farm is steadily growing, with 150 residents attending a recent meeting to voice their concerns.

The revised farm should be capable of generating at least 12 megawatts of electricity - enough to serve around 7,000 homes.

Figures suggest a two-megawatt turbine can save 5,400 tonnes of C02 emissions each year.