Published: May 4, 2013
Pilrow wind farm campaign group vows to fight planning appeal

Campaigners have vowed to step up their fight against controversial plans to build a wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea after the firm behind the scheme this week submitted an appeal to the Government's Planning Inspectorate.

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.

Sedgemoor District Council rejected the scheme last month, but Broadview has this week submitted a formal appeal to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to overturn the decision.

David Maund from the No Pilrow group said the group will be fighting the appeal. He told this week: "Sedgemoor's refusal was based on two clear grounds. Firstly, that the turbines would 'represent an unacceptable visual intrusion into the landscape… and would be contrary to National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 114 and Policy D4 and D14 of the Sedgemoor District Core Strategy'. Secondly, that Sedgemoor was 'unable to conclude that there will not be a significant effect upon bird population' sited in in the Severn Estuary."

"On the first ground, SDC planners were supported by statutory consultants including Natural England, English Heritage and the Environment Agency together with representation from the National Trust and the SCC Landscape Officer."

"The second stated case was also the view of the RSPB and, whilst Broadview were given the opportunity to carry out further survey work, and indeed did a series of radar studies over a number of nights, they have failed to produce any fresh data supporting their application on this issue. The inference is obvious."

David went on to say: "From the Broadview Energy's website it would appear that their spokesman and project manager for this site are basing the appeal on the need 'to keep the lights on'. Obviously he has no answer to the genuine grounds of refusal submitted by the Sedgemoor planners."

"This is a complete farce. During the recent severe spring cold spell lasting over a month, and to a certain extent still with us, electrical energy supplied by wind farms throughout the UK amounted to an average of less than 25% of their potential output and at times for considerable periods was reduced to less than 2% of possible output."

"Currently, wind energy is producing less than 10% of its possible output and we are buying from the French nuclear industry twice as much as that supplied by wind turbines at inflated prices."

"The figure of wind output quoted are for wind farms throughout the UK and include the windier areas of Scotland, Northern England, the Welsh mountains and all offshore capacity. This area of Somerset has nowhere near the average wind speeds of these others as Broadview’s own wind speed data clearly shows."

"Wind energy will never do anything to keep the 'lights on' because of their inefficiency and intermittent output."

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