The Battle for Britain: Wind Farm Wins Mount

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Britain’s confirmed wind farm kills are mounting.

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It’s always delightful to report on wind farm developers being seen off by the hard work of dedicated locals.

This time we’ve got twice the reason for jubilation: a High Court judge has dismissed an appeal by a developer hoping to despoil Burnham-On-Sea; while another developer seeing the writing on the wall has pulled the plug on its High Court appeal and, therefore, its project in Cumbria.

Judge throws out appeal for controversial Huntspill wind farm plans
burnham-on-sea.com
28 June 2014

Controversial proposals for a wind farm near Burnham-On-Sea were dealt a further blow by a High Court judge on Friday (June 27th), delighting campaigners fighting the scheme.

Green energy firm Ecotricity wanted to install four wind turbines at West Huntspill, but its scheme was turned down by Sedgemoor District Council and the company appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, which held an inquiry last year.

The inspector concluded that the turbines should be put up, but Secretary of State Eric Pickles over-ruled that recommendation and threw out the plans earlier this year.

However, Ecotricty appealed against the Secretary of State’s decision to over rule the Planning Inspectorate’s recommendation and refuse the application.

A hearing was held at the High Court in London on Friday when the judge dismissed Ecotricity’s appeal, saying there was no case to overturn the Secretary of State’s decision.

julie trott

Julie Trott – victory at last.

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Julie Trott, pictured, who has long campaigned against the plans in her role on the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, told Burnham-On-Sea.com she was “delighted” by the judgement.

“I and many residents are absolutely delighted by this decision which is the right decision for our area,” she said.

Sedgemoor district councillor Bob Filmer, who chairs the council’s planning committee, told Burnham-On-Sea.com he too is pleased with the outcome.

“The court’s decision endorses the local view of Sedgemoor District Council and the judgement of Eric Pickles in turning down the scheme. It’s great news for those residents who were concerned by the plans.”

Residents in Rooksbridge are now waiting to see whether the court ruling has any impact on the Planning Inspectorate’s consideraion of the Pilrow Farm wind farm site.

In a letter from the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Secretary of State said earlier this year he was turning down the Black Ditch plans because they would have had a “significant adverse impact on local landscape character, scenic quality and distinctive landscape features”.

He added that while the scheme “offers a considerable benefit” in meeting the need for renewable energy, “the harm that this scheme would cause to the landscape and visual impact” outweighed the benefits.
burnham-on-sea.com

Meanwhile, at Whitehaven in Cumbria, the locals have collected another win. This time, having fought and beaten the developer at the local planning level and beaten off an appeal by the developer to the Secretary of State, the developer (Banks Renewables) pulled the plug on the project. It withdrew – despite its sabre rattling that it would run an appeal in the High Court.

Developer drops windfarm plans after protest campaign
News & Star
Jenny Barwise
26 June 2014

People power has triumphed for hundreds of objectors against a windfarm development, as the company behind the scheme pulled its appeal at the eleventh hour.

Plans for the £17 million Weddicar Rigg windfarm, near Whitehaven, were revealed three years ago.

Since then a fierce battle has raged between protesters and the developers, Banks Renewables.

Six hundred people lodged objections against the scheme, earmarked for land between Moresby Parks and Frizington, and it looked as though they had won as Copeland councillors threw the plans out on the grounds of negative visual impact.

The company lodged an appeal but after a six-day inquiry, the Secretary of State upheld Copeland’s decision.

Banks Renewables carried on its fight saying it would take the case to the High Court in London to appeal the grounds of the process, and a date was set for a hearing this month.

The Durham-based company has now made a U-turn and has withdrawn its challenge with “immediate effect”.

Phil Dyke, development director at Banks Renewables, said he still believed there was a “strong case” to put before the High Court, but that in the present political climate was “unlikely” to get a satisfactory outcome for the project as a whole.

The news has been welcomed by those who resisted the development.

Moresby councillor Geoff Blackwell, said he was pleased that Banks have “at last accepted” that the earmarked land was not the “right location”.

“I would like to thank all those people who had taken the time to respond in writing to the planning department and turn up at the planning panel and planning inquiry to put their views forward,” added Mr Blackwell.

“I feel that the right decision has at last been accepted.”

David Colborn, chair of Friends of Rural Cumbria’s Environment, said: “The voice of local people has for too long been ignored by the developers of both windfarms and single turbines.

“They have a history of riding roughshod over local opinion and have attempted to justify their schemes with the promise of ‘community funds’.

“The reality is that no amount of money can compensate for the misery that is caused to people living near turbines, let alone the devaluation of their properties.”

Mr Dyke said that Banks Renewables would look at ways in the future to bring the “very well-designed” and “sensibly-located” scheme forward again.
News & Star

There’s nothing quite like victory. Unless we’re talking about two in a row!!

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That’s 2 down, Blue Leader. Shall we return to base?

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Every little step is adding to a bigger one. One day this industry will have to accept it cannot run rough shod over everyone. For every turbine not installed there is someone who will not suffer. For every turbine not installed – that is money from the public purse that can be spent more wisely.
    One day the step will be so large that the industry will not be able to see over it, and will become relegated to and be seen for the small insignificant industry it really is.

  2. Lyndsey says:

    And Scotland? With planning devolved from Westminster we are at the mercy of an insane government and energy minister who has admitted he has no idea how many turbines are in the planning process yet continues to allow applications flood into Scotland’s Councils at an average of 7 a day. When judgment day comes there will be many spikes needed!

  3. Pickled weasels – they’re becoming a common delicacy!

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