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West Huntspill wind farm appeal logged

Developers hoping to build a wind farm in West Huntspill have appealed against a decision by councillors to refuse permission for the project.

The application by Ecotricity for four turbines on land south of Poplar Farm, known as Black Ditch, was rejected by Sedgemoor District Council’s Planning Committee in April, along with a similar application in East Huntspill by EDF Energy.

The Poplar Farm application was rejected because the committee felt the wind farm, with turbines up to 120m, would present an ‘unacceptable visual intrusion into the flat landscape’, especially alongside the other wind farm proposal. It was also believed the effect on wildlife in the area would not be outweighed by the benefits.

But Ecotricity, who say the project would produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 6,769 homes, has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against that decision.

Nick Osbourne, Ecotricity spokesperson, said: “We fully believe Black Ditch is an appropriate site for a wind farm of this size.

“The Council’s own Planning Officer concluded the landscape could accommodate the turbines.

“With regards any potential impact on protected species, we are confident appropriate conditions and agreements can be put in place to address any concerns.”

Julie Trott, communications officer for the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, told the Weekly News many people were expecting an appeal.

She said: “It’s going to take a lot of work getting together fundraising for court costs to fight it. There’s no sign EDF will appeal too so hopefully we’ll be fighting one application instead of two. Even that could cost around £30,000.

“They had six months to appeal and they’ve waited until the last minute. We will be keeping people up to date on developments.”

If the appeal is successful, Ecotricity would allocate £9,200 every year, which local people can apply for – a total of £230,000 over the 25-year lifespan of the turbine.