Published: May 4, 2011
750 people protest against wind farm plans near Burnham-On-Sea

More than 750 people have submitted formal objections against plans to build a controversial wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea, we can reveal.

EDF's plans for five turbines on farmland next to the Huntspill River near East Huntspill have attracted 338 formal objections and just 38 letters of support.

And Ecotricity's proposals for four turbines near to Poplar Farm have drawn a huge 427 objections, two petitions and 113 letters of support.

Sedgemoor District Council's planning officer, Colin Arnold, told Burnham-On-Sea today: "There is a lot of interest in the plans and those opposing the schemes are greatly outnumbering those supporting them."

"In my 18 years as a planning officer I have only seen a handful of other applications that have attracted this many objections."

The EDF Energy Renewables wind farm - which would occupy land between the former Royal Ordinance Factory and the Huntspill River - could be decided as early as May 21st, while the Ecotricity scheme is currently being examined by the district council's planners.

John Wakefield, Chairman of the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, told "These figures show the strength of feeling there is within the villages. It comes after a lot of hard work by campaign groups like ourselves to ensure residents are aware of the issues, such as noise and the adverse effects on local wildlife."

He added: "I am optimistic that we'll get the right result when Sedgemoor District Council considers the scheme but we could then see an appeal and that would be expensive to fight."

Ecotricity says its wind turbines would produce 2.3MW each, collecting enough power from the wind for 6,769 homes.

And EDF's Dennis Garry, who is development manager for the project, said: "We believe that the Withy End Farm site is very suitable for this kind of development."

Details of the applications - including the precise locations of the proposed wind turbines - can be viewed on the council’s website or at the council’s offices in Bridgwater House, Bridgwater.

Pictured: Top - an photomontage from Ecotricity showing the wind turbines; middle - an image of how the scheme would look according to the campaigners, some of whom are shown above

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