Wind farm campaigners near Burnham-On-Sea are celebrating this week after their long-running battle against EDF Energy’s plans came to an end.
EDF’s proposals for five huge wind turbines on land just off the Causeway in East Huntspill were originally rejected by Sedgemoor District Council in May this year, but the firm had six months to appeal – and that date passed this week without an appeal being lodged, so the scheme has been dropped.
Delighted members of the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group said it marks the end of a six-year fight against two wind farm applications from EDF and Ecotricity.
The Huntspill Wind farm Action Group raised approximately £20,000 through fundraising events and from donors to pay for leaflet drops, information boards and its costs during the Planning Inspectors visits.
John Wakefield, Chairman of the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week: “As the deadline for EDF to appeal has now passed we can announce that the campaign to stop the wind farms is finally over.”
“It’s been a long six year fight that would have been lost without the amazing public support and the hard work and dedication of the action group.”
“To succeed in fighting one wind farm would be a great achievement but to defeat two applications at the same time is something we can all be very proud of.”
John thanked all the supporters who have given their backing over the years, and gave a special mention to the late Julie Trott, who was the group’s very passionate communications officer. “On behalf of the Action Group I would like to thank all that supported the cause and a special mention for Julie who is no doubt smiling from above and can rest in peace,” he added.
EDF’s plan was originally rejected by Sedgemoor District Council, but the firm came back with a further planning application in January 2014, which was turned down this year. Two of the key reasons for refusal were an “unacceptable intrusion on the flat landscape” and the “potential harm to biodiversity”, such as birds on the flight path between the Severn Estuary and Somerset Levels.
Cllr Bob Filmer added this week: “The government’s legislation has changed on wind farms since these schemes were first lodged. They now require the support of the local community to succeed. The government has come good and given the community more of a say.”
Pictured: A photomontage of how the wind farm would have looked