Pilrow wind farm plans thrown out by Secretary of State
government's Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has rejected controversial
plans for the proposed Pilrow wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea this
Energy wanted to build four 130-metre tall wind turbines on land
at Pilrow Farm in Rooksbridge.
on Friday (August 1st) Broadview's appeal against Sedgemoor District
Council and the Planning Inspectorate's decisions to refuse the
scheme was dismised by Eric Pickles.
Secretary Of State says the wind turbines would cause substantial
harm to the landscape and that this outweighs the need for renewable
James from the NoPilrow group which has fought a long campaign
against the plans, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I believe I
speak for the majority of residents of East Brent and Rooksbridge
and all the surrounding parishes when I say I am overjoyed at
has campaigned for three long years against this wind farm. We
have always sought to protect the unique landscape of the Somerset
Levels dominated by the iconic Brent Knoll with its associated
Iron Age Hill Fort from the adverse impact of the industrial scale
democratic decision is the culmination of a vigorous, exhaustive
and comprehensive planning system. All parish councils, Sedgemoor
District Council, Mr Paul Jackson (the Inspector who conducted
the public Inquiry) and now the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, Secretary
of State, have all said no."
added: "Broadview Energy claims on its website that it prides
itself on undertaking a thorough, open and transparent approach
to community engagement as it is important to work closely with
all interested parties likely to be affected by the development
of a wind farm. It is to be hoped that Broadview remembers this
ideal and respects the decision when considering their response
and not seek a judicial review or as is more likely submit an
amended planning application, a few months down the road."
Energy says it is considering whether it will challenge this week's
decision. The firm's Tom Cosgrove, pictured right, said:
"We are naturaly disappointed by this decision because when
you invest a lot of time and money into a project which you believe
to be good and has a reasonable chance of success then it is disappointing
when it doesn't work out as anticipated."
did believe that it was a good site and location for a wind farm
of the size we'd proposed so we were pretty confident we would
get a positive recommendation and a positive decision but it didn't
work out that way."
added: "We do have the abiity to challenge the decision on
a point of law, so if we thought the decision wasn't made lawfully
then we could take it to the High Court but I haven't reviewed
the decision thoroughly yet. We will be doing so over the coming
fortnight and will make a decision on the basis of what's contained
in the decision."
think it is unlikely that we would challenge. Seeing as the Planning
Inspector has recommended refusal on the basis of landscape impact
I think it is going to be difficult for us to take the project
MP, Tessa Munt, welcomed the anouncement, telling Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"I'm delighted for local residents that this scheme, which
was opposed all along, has been dismissed. The plans for these
turbines meant they would have been located inappropriately in
an area of high landscape value. These structures would have dominated
our rural part of Somerset and the historic Brent Knoll."
Bob Filmer, Chairman of Sedgemoor District Councils Development
Committee, also welcomed the news.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This is really excellent news that
the Pilrow Windfarm appeal has been dismissed by both the Planning
Inspector and the Secretary of State."
fully endorsed Sedgemoor District Council's decision to refuse
planning permission because of the significant detrimental impact
that it would have had on the landscape character, visual impact
and the setting of Brent Knoll."
shows that localism works; where you have a solid and robust Local
Plan, inappropriate development can be refused and the Inspectors
and Secretary of State will support locally accountable councillors."
local Conservative parliamentary candidate James Heappey said:
"This is great news for the hundreds of local people who
have been campaigning so hard to stop this wind farm from being
built. It would have been awful to have those enormous turbines
ruining the view from and to Brent Knoll and as the first thing
that people would see when entering Somerset on the M5 from the
it is not just that they are so ugly that so annoys local people;
it is that they are unreliable too."
am hoping that the recent rejections by Eric Pickles of turbines
at Huntspill, Rooksbridge and up on the Mendips will be the end
for onshore wind applications in this area and that, instead,
we can get on with harnessing the completely reliable and predictable
power of the tides in the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel."
full judgement from the government can be accessed online here.