December 7, 2010
protesters express anger over wind farm firm's 'tactics'
Protesters fighting energy firm Ecotricity's controversial
plans to build a new wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea have expressed
their concern at the 'tactics' being used by the firm after it
lodged its formal planning application this week.
plans for the Black Ditch site outside East Huntspill have been
slightly amended to include four turbines instead of five, but
second firm, EDF, still wants to build additional turbines at
the site - as shown in the protesters' photo montage above.
John Wakefield from the West Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group
this week questioned the timing of Ecotricity submitting its planning
application to Sedgemoor District Council so close to Christmas.
He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have been awaiting the planning
application from Ecotricity for some time and are not surprised
they have chosen to put it in so close to Christmas in order to
gain maximum advantage of holidays and distractions away from
matters that would normally take priority. These are exactly the
sort of tactics these companies take to maximise their chances
of success to fill the pockets of their shareholders."
comments came as Ecotricity this week appealed to the 'silent
majority' to speak up and send positive feedback about the proposals
to the district council.
But Mr Wakefield said: "It is ironic that this multi-million
pound company appeal to the 'silent majority' to support them
when its very likely those very same people do not realise
that they are funding the profits of companies like Ecotricity
in overpayments to their electricity bills."
"About £84 per year from every electricity bill payer
goes towards the subsidies that pay for these inefficient machines
which, by Ecotricitys own admission, would not be otherwise
built as they are not economically viable."
Huntspill resident Julie Trott added: "I wish to pass on
my objections to the proposed wind farms in the inappropriate
locations at West and East Huntspill in Somerset. My objections
are not just personal but are based on my knowledge of the use
of wind turbines researched over a considerable period."
"My home is approx 650m from the proposed wind farm at West
Huntspill. I have lived in the area for over 25 years and I am
very concerned that my family and I will suffer from the effects
of noise through sleep deprivation, shadow flicker and loss of
"The turbines would completely dominate not only the local
area but the region as whole to the detriment of those who live
in the locality and visitors to the area. The location of the
proposed turbines will make them the tallest and some of the most
visible man-made structures in Somerset."
Dale Vince, founder and MD of Ecotricity, said: "We're very
pleased to finally be submitting this project for planning approval.
During the consultation phase we've listened carefully to the
views of local people and as a result we've reduced our proposals
from the original five windmills to four. By doing this we will
ensure these windmills are good neighbours for people and wildlife."
"At the same time, this project will still make a vital contribution
to the provision of clean energy in Somerset, which currently
has just one windmill in the whole county. The four we propose
will be able to power more than 6,700 local homes each year -
this is equivalent to more than 15% of the households within Sedgemoor
"We hope that the council will recognise the real need to
develop good sources of local clean energy and that the planning
committee in particular will reflect that the vast majority of
people wish to see developments such as this - and that those
people the committee does hear from on this will be a tiny, but
very vocal minority."