Published: July 6, 2012
Plans for wind turbines as tall as Brent Knoll are formally submitted

Hotly-debated multi-million pound plans for a major new wind farm on the outskirts of Burnham-On-Sea have been formally submitted to Sedgemoor District Council this week.

The controversial proposed Pilrow wind farm is to be located on agricultural land adjacent to the M5, between the villages of Rooksbridge and Mark.

The proposals from energy firm Broadview are for a wind farm comprising four 130 metre tall wind turbines - each as tall as Brent Knoll - and associated infrastructure, which Broadview says could generate enough clean electricity for approximately 5,300 households.

During the development process, Broadview has consulted with key stakeholders including English Heritage, local councils, residents, community representatives and a range of other organisations.

In addition to the consultation, Broadview says it has carried out a number of extensive environmental and technical assessments to examine the possible effects of the scheme, covering noise, landscape, cultural heritage, transport and nature conservation.

It has also met opposition from local campaigners from the No Pilrow group and Burnham's MP Tessa Munt, right, who claim the scheme would harm the visual impact of the area.

A Broadview spokeswoman said: "The proposal, which is now before Sedgemoor District Council, has been formulated as a product of the detailed site investigations and wide reaching consultation exercises."

"Findings have demonstrated that the Pilrow site is an excellent location for the proposed wind farm, which has been designed in line with the relevant planning policy and guidance, and is capable of making a valuable contribution towards reducing both carbon emissions and our dependence on imported fossil fuels."

Sedgemoor District Council's planning team will now undertake a wide ranging consultation exercise with a number of organisations, as well as local residents, before making a decision on the proposal.

Tom Cosgrove, Project Manager for the proposed Pilrow wind farm, told "We have looked very carefully at the Pilrow site and we feel that it is an ideal location for a small number of wind turbines. The application is thorough and informed by a comprehensive range of detailed technical and environmental assessments."

"The proposal that we have submitted has been developed with full regard to relevant national and local planning guidance and we have adapted the plans in light of our consultations."

"The turbines can generate clean electricity for many years to come and, importantly, if the scheme is approved, the local area can expect to receive financial support for community-based projects. We are proposing a community fund of £2,500 per MW of installed capacity each year over the wind farm’s 25 year lifetime, which could amount to between £500,000 and £750,000. We now look to Sedgemoor District Council to grant planning permission for the wind farm."

The planning application will be available for public viewing at the council offices in Bridgwater and can be downloaded from Broadview’s dedicated project website.

Pictured: Photomontages of how the wind farm could look near to Burnham

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