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RSPB worried over wind plan  

Credit:  www.southwestbusiness.co.uk 6 January 2011 ~~

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has formally objected to plans for a wind farm near in the area.

The UK charity has written to say it is against Ecotricity’s plans to build four, 120m turbines, an electricity substation and temporary construction compound, among other items, at West Huntspill.

Richard Archer, RSPB’s Somerset and Severn Estuary conservation officer, penned the letter to planning authority Sedgemoor District Council.

He said: “The Poplar Farm site lies within the broad flight corridor for birds moving between the Severn Estuary, Levels and Moors Special Protection Areas and wetlands.

“These two sites are internationally important for ducks, swans and wading birds in winter, spring and autumn migration.

“We met with Ecotricity to discuss our concerns about potential bird strike issues and the longer term barrier effects that development in this corridor may pose.”

However, Ecotricity’s Environment Study, part of the planning application, claims: “The site does not lie on any recognised bird migration routes and is therefore unlikely to be utilised by significant numbers of migratory birds.

“Numbers of migratory birds noted during baseline surveys were small and clearly insignificant.”

Mr Archer said the energy company has agreed with the RSPB, Natural England and Somerset Wildlife Trust to conduct a full radar survey of migratory birds at the site this winter to better understand their movements.

EDF also agreed to carry out a similar study for its proposed wind farm site at Withy Farm, East Huntspill.

Mr Archer urges Sedgemoor to delay a planning decision until the results are known.

Ecotricity submitted its planning application recently.

Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group members believe this was to use Christmas as a distraction.

Anyone wanting to comment on the plans can contact Sedgemoor until January 7.

Source:  www.southwestbusiness.co.uk 6 January 2011

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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