Published: April 25, 2012
Protesters plan £50,000 battle to fight off Huntspill wind farm appeal

A group of campaigners says it expects to have to raise up to £50,000 to fight a formal appeal by EDF and Ecotricity following yesterday's rejection of their huge wind farm plans near Burnham-On-Sea.

Sedgemoor District Council's Development Control Committee refused an application by Ecotricity to place four turbines at Black Ditch in West Huntspill and a second application by EDF Energy for five turbines at Withy Farm in East Huntspill.

The applications were refused on the grounds of visual impact and insufficient evidence of the impact on the ecology of the area, as we reported here.

Julie Trott from the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group gave a guarded welcome to the news, telling "All of our supporters are extremely pleased with the outcome of Tuesday's Development Committee meeting. The fact that the opinions of so many local residents who live in this part of the Somerset Levels was recognised is very much appreciated."

"We are aware that the applicants may well appeal against the council's decision, though, which is when the hard work starts for us."

"We will inevitably have to raise in the region of £50,000 to fight any such appeals."

"We do, however, remain positive that with the majority of people living within the surrounding villages supporting us that this will be achievable."

A spokesman for Ecotricity said after Tuesday's meeting - which was held in Burnham's Princess Theatre - that the firm was "disappointed" with the decision and added"there is certainly a strong case to appeal against the committee's decision."

He added: "After carrying out extensive assessments, analysing potential impacts on the landscape, ecology and ornithology, we are still confident the site is a highly appropriate one to harness the power of the wind and help fight against climate change."


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