Published: May 11, 2010
Wind farm plans for West Huntspill attract mixed feedback

Over 100 West Huntspill residents voiced their concerns about controversial plans to build five new wind turbines in the village during a special open day on Tuesday (May 11th).

Green electricity company Ecotricity put its proposals for the 'Black Ditch' project on display at an exhibition in the Balliol Village Hall.

Photomontages of the scheme gave residents an idea of what the huge turbines would look like from various locations in the area - and Ecotrocity says it received mixed opinions about the scheme.

"Over 100 people attended the event to find out more about the plans and separate for themselves the facts and the myths," Ecotricity spokesman Mike Cheshire told

"There were a mixture of opinions, with some people for the scheme and others against. We often see concerns about new applications, but the overall benefit environmentally will be huge."

But local residents, including Mike Gardner and Thomas O'Neil (pictured right), have yet to be convinced about the benefits and voiced their concern about the plans.

Mike told "I'm worried about the impact on local wildlife and the noise affects on local residents. The exhibition was interesting, but did not provide enough information on the concerns many of us have."

And Mr O'Neil said: "We're not against wind farms or 'green energy' but the location of the turbines here in West Huntspill is wrong and would have a negative impact on this area."

Other residents raised concerns about the negative impact the scheme might have on local house prices.

"Everyone knows the local property market is still depressed during the recession and having a wind farm sited here would just push local prices lower - why would anyone want to buy a house near a wind farm?" one resident, Andy Graham, asked at the event.

But Ecotrocity's Mike Cheshire claimed a recent independent study found property prices are actually unaffacted by wind farms over the medium to longer term.

The firm also revealed during Tuesday's event that it hopes to submit its scheme to be considered by district council planners during the next 6-8 weeks.

If approved, it says the wind farm would generate enough electricity for the equivalent of over 7,810 homes and save over 11,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Local councillor Jane Moreton, who was at Tuesday's event, told she has not yet reached any conclusions about the project. "I'm here to listen to the public's feedback on the proposals, but have not come to any conclusions yet. There are a lot of views and feelings about it and all these will be considered."


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