Campaigners fighting plans for a new wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea are celebrating after Sedgemoor District Council rejected a controversial planning application on Monday (April 8th) for the proposed wind turbines.
Energy firm Broadview wanted to construct four 130-metre tall wind turbines – each as tall as Brent Knoll – on land at Pilrow Farm, south of Rooksbridge.
Sedgemoor Planning Officer Rebecca Miller said Broadview’s scheme at Pilrow 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.”
Her report continues: “A defining characteristic of this part of the Somerset Levels is their flat and level nature; the verticality of the proposed turbines will be at odds with this character and will significantly undermine it.”
“The character of the landscape will be significantly undermined and harmed in a location which constitutes a key gateway to Somerset. This adverse landscape impact cannot be mitigated against with additional landscaping or other measures.”
“The local planning authority is of the opinion that the visual harm that would occur to the landscape would not be outweighed by the benefits that the development would bring in terms of tackling climate change and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.”
MP Tessa Munt, who has backed those campaigning against the proposals, said: “A large number of people who live close to the proposed Pilrow site have contacted me about this proposal. They are unanimous in their opposition to the plans. They are not opposed to wind turbines in general, but they do not believe this is the correct location.”
“I am, and remain, in favour of renewable energy, but proposals must be appropriate for the surrounding area. There are alternatives which could be explored like off-shore wind, tidal power and solar power, none of which would have the impact of this proposal.”