Residents living near the site of a controversial proposed wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea have breathed a huge sigh of relief this week when the deadline for a judicial review passed.
Broadview Energy wanted to build four 130-metre tall wind turbines on land at Pilrow Farm in Rooksbridge.
Earlier this year, the Secretary Of State Eric Pickles said the wind turbines would cause substantial harm to the landscape and this outweighed the need for renewable energy.
Broadview’s appeal against the planning refusals from Sedgemoor District Council and the Planning Inspectorate were therefore dismissed – however there remained the possibility until this week that the developer would call for a judicial review to challenge the decision.
But David James from the NoPilrow group, which has fought a long campaign against the plans, told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Friday (October 3rd): “At the end of July, the Secretary of State accepted the recommendation of the Planning Inspector and dismissed Broadview’s Appeal against Sedgemoor District Council’s refusal to grant consent for the proposed Pilrow wind farm at Rooksbridge. Broadview had six weeks in which to seek a judicial review; the time permitted lapsed during the second week of September.”
“There has been no announcement from Broadview that an application to seek a judicial review had been filed at the High Court. Since the ethos of Broadview is to build a good rapport with the local community, it is reasonable for the residents of East Brent and Rooksbridge and adjoining parishes, to assume there will not be a judicial review.”
“It is an understatement to say that members of NoPilrow as well as most local residents are extremely relieved that the deadline has expired. For three long anxious years the threat of a commercial wind farm being built in one’s backyard has hovered ominously. The future plans of many families have been on hold throughout those three years and it is to be hoped that the community can now put this wind farm behind them and move on with their lives.”
“However, the jubilation and relief felt by the community is marred to a degree by the possibility Broadview may consider submitting an amended planning application to Sedgemoor District Council. When the Secretary of State’s decision was announced, Tom Cosgrove, Project Manager of the proposed wind farm, said ‘Seeing as the Planning Inspector has recommended refusal on the basis of landscape impact I think it is going to be difficult for us to take the project further.’
Mr James added: “In light of these words, the community certainly hopes the wind farm is now in the past. If Broadview sincerely believes in having a good rapport with the community, then the residents of East Brent and Rooksbridge deserve to be informed of Broadview’s intentions. Only when Broadview confirms the project has been aborted, will the parishioners be able to return to their everyday lives, liberated from the anxiety of an impending wind farm on their doorstep.”