August 21, 2012

NoPilrow questions Highbridge met mast plans

Exclusive by Kirsty James | Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News | 21 August 2012

A campaign group battling plans for a wind farm near Rooksbridge has lashed out at wind energy companies who they feel are targeting the county.

The news comes following a fresh application by Gaoh Energy to build a 60m high temporary meteorological wind monitoring mast on land the south of Brue Pill, Alstone Lane, Highbridge.

According to the application, the mast will be positioned about 0.8km west of Alstone, and 1.5 North West of Huntspill with the aim of measuring and logging the wind resource over the site for two years.

But David Maund, spokesman for campaign group NoPilrow, is concerned the temporary mast could lead to permanent turbines.

He said: “For months, NoPilrow has been warning Sedgemoor residents that Somerset is the latest target for wind farm developers.

“In 2005 residents of Brent Knoll were targeted, followed by East and West Huntspill, and in 2011 Broadview Energy announced plans to build a wind farm at Rooksbridge. Now Gaoh Energy has submitted plans to erect a met mast at Highbridge.

“Gaoh Energy is dedicated to the development of on and offshore renewable energy resources. It is not unreasonable to think that this met mast may be the precursor to a proposed wind farm with turbines.”

The Weekly News has asked the firm to comment on the application and is awaiting a response.

In plans submitted to Sedgemoor District Council Gaoh Energy says: “The proposed mast location was chosen as it is located away from residential dwellings (the closest being 555m).”

Mr Maund added: “We, as a community, must act now to stop Somerset being obliterated by wind farms. I urge everyone to submit their objections, to both Pilrow Wind Farm (Sedgemoor Planning Application 24/12/00018) and this met mast (Sedgemoor Planning Application 52/12/00010), as soon as possible either on-line or in writing.”

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