Last chance to comment on Woolavington wind farm

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A PROJECT to build a wind farm in Woolavington has received objections from five parish councils and letters from more than 200 people.

EDF Energy Renewables re-submitted its planning application for a wind farm after Sedgemoor District Council turned down its previous attempt at a five turbine scheme near Puriton in April 2012.

People have just three days left to comment on the fresh application for five 126-metre turbines on land at Withy End, Causeway, Woolavington, which was submitted just before Christmas 2013.

The new scheme received over 200 letters from the public, with the majority objecting to the project.

Jane Moreton, councillor for West Huntspill and Pawlett, wrote: "We have met our renewable energy target , mainly with our applications for solar renewable energy. While I agree we should do everything we can to encourage renewable energy, this should not be to the detriment of local people, our lovely landscape, or to wildlife.

"These inefficient, eye-catching turbines are not what we want in our landscape. Please respect the views of our local people."

Woolavington Parish Council said the turbines would have a "detrimental impact upon the environment and scenic quality of the area", adding, "there would be a cumulative detrimental impact" if this project and a separate wind farm at West Huntspill gets planning permission.

An application by Ecotricity for four 120m turbines on land south of Poplar Farm, West Huntspill, was rejected by Sedgemoor councillors April 2012, but the developer has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

Other councils which have objected include: West Huntspill Parish Council, on the grounds of 'adverse environmental impact'; East Huntspill Parish Council, due to the "potential loss of tourism through such intrusion into the countryside"; Pawlett Parish Council due to "nuisance to the local community as a consequence of noise emissions, shadow flicker and light pollution" and Cossington Parish Council.

If built, EDF says the project would generate 10MW of renewable energy to feed into the national grid.

Dennis Garry, Onshore Wind Development Manager for EDF Energy Renewables, said: “Even though the plans may not have changed a great deal, we wanted to take the opportunity to re-consult the community on the revised application and to answer any questions.

“We continue to believe the site is an excellent location for the size of wind farm proposed.

"The fact that the council’s own planning officer recommended our original application for approval demonstrates the project has merit.”

The scheme is not the first renewable energy project in the area. An application by Wessex Solar Energy for a 7MW solar farm made up of 33,000 panels on fields between Woolavington and East Huntspill was granted planning permission in October 2013.

At the time, Wessex Solar Energy said the solar farm would have “relatively localised impacts when compared to a project such as a wind farm, which can be seen over many miles.”

To comment on the Woolavington wind farm application find it on Sedgemoor's planning website with the code 54/13/00023.

Comments (5)

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1:38pm Wed 5 Feb 14

MartinB58 says...

These proposed turbines are industrial monsters and will, in my opinion, destroy the view across the Somerset Levels for years to come should they be allowed. They would also sit directly in the migration paths of birds that visit the levels every year and could result in the mass destruction of many of these. On top of this given the size of these turbines the low frequency noise they are likely to generate (when it is not too windy for them) will likely impact on the lives of everyone that lives within at least 2km of them (East Huntspill, West Huntspill, parts of Pawlett, Puriton & Woolavington to name just some of the villages affected). Sedgemoor has refused them once and should do the same again and make it clear to EDF that they should not bother to keep re-applying. Now if EDF were to propose a solar farm on the same site I can't see anybody being particularly worried as there is little impact on the communities and environment once they have been completed.
These proposed turbines are industrial monsters and will, in my opinion, destroy the view across the Somerset Levels for years to come should they be allowed. They would also sit directly in the migration paths of birds that visit the levels every year and could result in the mass destruction of many of these. On top of this given the size of these turbines the low frequency noise they are likely to generate (when it is not too windy for them) will likely impact on the lives of everyone that lives within at least 2km of them (East Huntspill, West Huntspill, parts of Pawlett, Puriton & Woolavington to name just some of the villages affected). Sedgemoor has refused them once and should do the same again and make it clear to EDF that they should not bother to keep re-applying. Now if EDF were to propose a solar farm on the same site I can't see anybody being particularly worried as there is little impact on the communities and environment once they have been completed. MartinB58

1:50pm Wed 5 Feb 14

MartinB58 says...

Forgot to add in the last comment, to get an idea of the height of the proposed turbines look at the height of Brent Knoll (137mtrs), at 126mtrs these turbines will be nearly as tall and would dominate the landscape for many miles around. For those who prefer old measurements this make the turbines just 36ft shorter than Brent Knoll.
Forgot to add in the last comment, to get an idea of the height of the proposed turbines look at the height of Brent Knoll (137mtrs), at 126mtrs these turbines will be nearly as tall and would dominate the landscape for many miles around. For those who prefer old measurements this make the turbines just 36ft shorter than Brent Knoll. MartinB58

8:59am Thu 6 Feb 14

save energy says...

The statement -
“If built, EDF says the project would generate 10MW of renewable energy to feed into the national grid.” - Is false.

10MW is maximum capacity, the capacity factor for UK wind = 27% (DECC figs), so they will only average 2•7MW into the national grid, BUT because it is an intermittent feed almost no reductions in CO2 is achieved. They are the wrong technology to solve the problem, chosen by un-informed politicians…not engineers, No space here to elucidate.
The statement - “If built, EDF says the project would generate 10MW of renewable energy to feed into the national grid.” - Is false. 10MW is maximum capacity, the capacity factor for UK wind = 27% (DECC figs), so they will only average 2•7MW into the national grid, BUT because it is an intermittent feed almost no reductions in CO2 is achieved. They are the wrong technology to solve the problem, chosen by un-informed politicians…not engineers, No space here to elucidate. save energy

10:38am Thu 6 Feb 14

Frontier_Pharmacist says...

Why do they need such huge devices, they don't look out of place in an industrial location like the ones in Avonmouth. Surely they would have a little more support if they were of a similar size as the one further along the Poldens at Shapwick, although if that was painted a darker colour and a shade of green, then it would blend a little better into the background. Even that one is an eyesore with its pale grey colour and can been seen for miles.
A bit more effort from the energy companies might sway opinion, just maybe.
Freddy
Why do they need such huge devices, they don't look out of place in an industrial location like the ones in Avonmouth. Surely they would have a little more support if they were of a similar size as the one further along the Poldens at Shapwick, although if that was painted a darker colour and a shade of green, then it would blend a little better into the background. Even that one is an eyesore with its pale grey colour and can been seen for miles. A bit more effort from the energy companies might sway opinion, just maybe. Freddy Frontier_Pharmacist

1:21pm Thu 6 Feb 14

MartinB58 says...

Will be interesting to see the planning officers recommendations for this application. Will they tow the EDF line and recommend approval or will they recommend protecting the villages and levels?
Will be interesting to see the planning officers recommendations for this application. Will they tow the EDF line and recommend approval or will they recommend protecting the villages and levels? MartinB58

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