Published: October 31, 2012
Ecotricity bids to reverse multi-million pound wind farm decision

Energy firm Ecotricity has this week submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to reverse Sedgemoor District Council's decision to reject controversial plans for four huge wind turbines near Burnham-On-Sea.

The application at Black Ditch in West Huntspill was turned down in April by district councillors voting 9 votes to four due to landscape and biodiversity concerns, as reported here.

Ecotricity wants to overturn the decision in a 'last ditch' attempt to build the wind farm south of Poplar Farm.

Ecotricity spokesman Nick Osbourne told this week: "The council's grounds for rejection certainly give us good reason to appeal."

"The council's own Planning Officer concluded that the landscape could accommodate the turbines, and with regards to any potential impact on protected species, we are confident that appropriate conditions and agreements can be put in place to address any concerns."

He added: "We fully believe that Black Ditch is an appropriate site for a wind farm of this size, and it is another important step in fighting both climate change and an over reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels. The four proposed wind turbines would produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 6,769 homes – all through clean, green renewable means."

Protesters opposed to the plans say they are disappointed that Ecotricity has submitted the appeal.

Julie Trott of the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, right, told "The appeal is directed at Sedgemoor District Council and we are sure they will defend their decision vehemently. The action group will support the council in any way it can."

"Although we are confident of winning the appeal we must not be complacent as we believe that if the Black Ditch appeal is successful it would only be a matter of time before another application is submitted for the Withy Farm site or one close to it, and then the one at Rooksbridge, then Burtle, Meare, Westhay and Shapwick."

She added: "Of the local people that wrote to the council, 97% were against the wind farms. All six of the parish councils objected and the district council objected. It would be a travesty of democracy if the Planning Inspectorate ignored this."

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