January 14, 2011

Fears wind farm plan could ruin scenery

By David Hemming, Bridgwater Mercury, www.bridgwatermercury.co.uk 14 January 2011

Conservationists say two proposed wind farms could destroy Sedgemoor’s stunning natural scenery.

The Quantock Hills and Mendip Hills Area of Natural Beauty services have spoken out about new plans for four turbines directly between the two hill ranges.

The plans are separate to another scheme, unveiled in 2009, for a further four turbines on the same land at Black Ditch, south of Poplar Farm in Puriton Road, West Huntspill, as reported in The Mercury.

In the latest scheme, Next Generation Ltd has applied to build four turbines measuring up to 120 metres high, along with access tracks, hard standing areas, an information board, an electricity sub-station, a temporary construction compound and vehicle access.

Both conservation teams are worried the wind farms would threaten the “visual interrelationship” between the Quantock Hills and the Mendip Hills, which are both classed as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

They say the quality of views to and from both protected landscapes could also be at risk and have warned planners of the need to balance the development of renewable energy with the protection of the area’s special characteristics.

In a joint statement they have asked for consideration to be given to the potential snowball effect the project could have on Sedgemoor’s two “most important environmental and economic assets”.

In its planning statement, Next Generation says the effects of the wind turbines on the Quantock Hills and Mendip Hills would not be significant.

Sedgemoor District Council is welcoming comments on the proposals until next Friday.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/01/14/fears-wind-farm-plan-could-ruin-scenery/