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Wind debate blows back and forth  

Planning councillors will meet at Bridgwater House on Tuesday (January 23) to discuss the latest twist in the West Hinkley Wind Farm saga.

Agents Your Energy withdrew their appeal against a refused, 12-turbine application late last year – replacing it with a similar nine-windmill plan.

A date set by the planning inspectorate to make a final decision over the West Somerset site was cancelled, and the planning process has gone full circle back to the start of the cycle.

Sedgemoor District Council’s Development Control Committee is being consulted along with statutory bodies and other bordering authorities.

West Somerset District Council will make a decision on the application in “early 2007”.

A statement said: “The appeal hearing scheduled for the siting of 12 turbines by West Hinkley Windfarm has been cancelled because the agent has withdrawn the appeal.

“A second planning application was submitted by West Hinkley Windfarm for nine wind turbines on 22 November 2006.

“Consultation letters have been sent to statutory consultees, including parish councils beyond the district boundary, and advertisements placed in the local press plus notices on site. A decision is likely to be made in early 2007.”

Last week the Mercury reported how the RSPB maintained its objections to the turbines.

Somerset conservation officer Richard Archer said: “For Hinkley (windfarm) the developers have done more surveys since being refused in 2005 but it hasn’t been as complete as it needs to be.

“Populations of Shellduck in the Seven Estuary could suffer and that is significant for water birds.”

The meeting takes place in the Sedgemoor Room at the earlier start time of 9.30am. Deferred applications will be considered first.

By Ben Pike

burnhamandhighbridgeweeklynews.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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