Published: February 8, 2012
Burnham wind farm debate heats up as both sides announce meetings

A series of meetings regarding the controversial plans for the Pilrow wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea will be held later this month by protesters and the developers of the scheme.

Broadview Energy, the firm behind plans to build the four 130m tall turbines next to Rooksbridge, will be holding its own series of public exhibitions when residents will be able to view the proposals.

Broadview's exhibitions will be held on Monday 20th February in Mark Village Hall from 9.30am to 1.30pm and also at East Brent Village Hall from 4.00pm to 8.00pm on the same day.

Meanwhile, the No Pilrow campaign group which is fighting the plans has announced its own series of meetings for residents to hear updates on how it is opposing the plans.

NoPilrow's meetings will be held in Mark Village Hall on Wednesday 22nd February from 7pm - 9pm, then in the Wellington Arms, Rooksbridge on Thursday 23rd February from 7.30pm - 9.30pm, and in East Brent Village Hall on Monday 27th February from 7pm - 9pm.

Tom Cosgrove, Project Manager at Broadview, said its exhibitions will give residents a chance to meet the independent expert consultants who have been assessing the suitability of the site, find out about the detailed surveys that have been undertaken, and see images showing how the turbines would look.

Broadview also last week organised a trip for local residents to see its four turbines at Low Spinney wind farm near Gilmorton Village in Leicestershire. Seven local residents attended and, according to the firm, "they found it most informative, with a number commenting that the turbines did not appear to be as large or as noisy as they had expected."

However, No Pilrow's David Maund told "I learn from one of the residents attending the trip that Broadview's representative said that if Brent Knoll was not there, the site would probably not have been chosen as the accelerated prevailing winds enhances the suitability of the site."

"This, of course, is both scientific and factual nonsense. A glance at the actual met office (NOABL) average yearly wind speeds of 6 mtrs/sec for the area will show no difference at all between the Pilrow site and the surrounding countryside. It is generally accepted that a yearly average of 8 mtrs/sec is the minimum required to produce efficiently. There is a slight increase in average wind speed but this is only over the Knoll itself, as one would expect. This is the sort of misinformation that is constantly being put forward by turbine proponents."

"What the Knoll does do is produce 'dirty' wind as it is known in the industry, which gusts far more than normal and produces intermittent and constantly changing wind speeds. When considering a site to erect turbines it is always emphasised that there is a need to avoid this very situation."

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