Published: May 2, 2013
Pilrow wind farm developer lodges appeal over decision to reject plan

The developer behind controversial plans to build a wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea, has this week appealed to the Government's Planning Inspectorate after the refusal of its planning application in April.

Broadview Energy wants to construct four 130-metre tall wind turbines - each as tall as Brent Knoll - on land at Pilrow Farm, south of Rooksbridge.

But Sedgemoor District Council rejected the scheme last month, with Planning Officer Rebecca Miller saying the plans would "represent an unacceptable visual intrusion into the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels, particularly in respect of the harm to the views to and from Brent Knoll."

Broadview's decision to appeal against the judgement comes after the culmination of a detailed development process which it claims "demonstrated that the Pilrow site is a good location for a wind farm."

Since it started its investigations in 2010, Broadview says it has consulted extensively with a range of stakeholders including local residents, Sedgemoor District Council and statutory consultees such as Natural England, English Heritage and the Environment Agency.

Tom Cosgrove, Project Manager for Broadview Energy, told "We continue to believe that the Pilrow site is an excellent location for a wind farm of the size proposed. Sedgemoor’s refusal of this application has come at a time when new electricity generating infrastructure is needed more than ever.

"The country continues to face a serious and ever closer energy gap and if the right decisions are not made now there will simply not be enough power to go around."

"Therefore, it is important that decision makers are fully aware of and afford appropriate weight to the country’s ambition to increase its green energy supply and keep the lights on."

"We have carefully reviewed the reasons for refusal provided by Sedgemoor Council and feel that the most appropriate course of action is to seek a decision through the planning appeal process."

Should the wind farm be constructed, it could generate enough electricity to meet the needs of up to 7,560 homes, making a contribution towards increasing energy security and reducing emissions.

In addition, Broadview is 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.

Campaigners from NoPilrow, the group fighting against the plans, say they are disappointed by news of the appeal and they are gearing up to air their opposition.


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