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West Huntspill wind farm appeal goes to high court
DISMAYED campaigners who thought they had won the fight against a proposed wind farm in West Huntspill are facing yet another battle.
Ecotricity has challenged the Secretary of State Eric Pickles’s decision in February to throw out their application to build four 120m turbines on land south of Poplar Farm, known as Black Ditch.
This was after Sedgemoor District Council decided to reject the original application in April 2013 and Ecotricity appealed to the Secretary of State.
A spokesperson for Ecotricity said: “Following a review of the Secretary of State’s decision to dismiss our appeal for four wind turbines at West Huntspill, and in particular aspects of the decision-making process relating to landscape and topography at the site, we have decided to challenge the decision.
“We have conducted several years of environmental assessments at the site.
“The positive results of those assessments, as well as recommendations for approval from both the council’s planning officer and the planning inspector, strongly suggest that Black Ditch is absolutely an appropriate location for four wind turbines.”
Julie Trott, a member of the Huntspill Wind Farm Action Group, which has been fighting against the plans, said: “We thought we had finally won. We knew that there was a possibility it wasn’t over but personally I really didn’t think they would go to high court.
“We are in our fifth year of fighting this wind farm. There’s not a lot more we can do. It’s very frustrating that we can’t have any impact any more but I am quite confident that we have done as much as we possibly can.
“This is a test case – what happens with this application will set a precedent. It will be a big victory for local action if we win. If it goes the other way then it won’t be so good for listening to public opinion, but fingers crossed.”