Published: April 2, 2010
Villagers pack wind farm protest meeting as campaign gathers pace

Almost 100 residents from two villages near Burnham-On-Sea gathered in Puriton on Thursday night (April 1st) when their campaign against a proposed wind farm stepped up a gear.

Both Bridgwater MP Ian Liddell-Grainger and Huntspill County Councillor Mark Healey were among the crowd of concerned East Huntspill and West Huntspill residents at the packed meeting, pictured here.

Power company Ecotricity wants to build a wind farm consisting of five turbines at Black Ditch in West Huntspill, as pictured on the map below.

If approved, the wind farm would generate enough power for 7,810 homes and also generate a huge contribution to the UK's renewable energy targets.

But residents claim the huge structures would blight the landscape and even hurt wildlife.

"The majority of people in this area are not objecting against wind turbines - just the proposed location of them," Cllr Healey told "There are far better locations for them, away from the countryside surrounding our villages."

Several local residents spoke out strongly against the scheme - including Alison Hawkins, co-ordinator of the East Huntspill Action Group, and local campaigner Liz Loveless, both of whom are pictured above with Mr Liddell-Grainger and Cllr Healey.

However, Mike Cheshire, spokesman for Ecotricity, told "There’s some very wild and negative claims being made about wind turbines, including some real myths about ‘underground vibrations’ and contaminated water courses’."

"People are entirely right to be concerned about the environment – so are we. That’s why we’ve chosen a site that’s already between the existing man-made features of the M5 motorway, the A38, the main rail line and a landfill site. We’ve already carried out extensive environmental studies, including with our own in-house ecologist and consulting bodies including Natural England, the Environment Agency and RSPB."

"For this wind park to go ahead, we have to meet a host of very strict criteria regarding people and wildlife. If it can’t, it doesn’t go ahead."

"There are 40,000 households in Sedgemoor, and we’d ask them to make up their own mind based on the facts and not rely on the heated words. We’ll be holding a public exhibition in late April or early May, where people can find out more information and ask questions they may have." first reported last October on the proposed wind farms at West Huntspill.

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