Brent Knoll campaigners' joy as wind farm appeal is rejected

NO wind farm for Brent Knoll after a successful campaign by No Pilrow.

NO wind farm for Brent Knoll after a successful campaign by No Pilrow.

First published in News by

CAMPAIGNERS against a controversial wind farm in Brent Knoll are celebrating after planning minister Eric Pickles rejected an appeal by developers.

No Pilrow, a group of hundreds from the nearby community, objected to developer Broadview Energy's plans to build four 130-metre tall turbines on land at Pilrow Farm near Rooksbridge.

Sedgemoor District Council refused permission for the scheme and the planning inspectorate upheld the council decision at appeal.

Now Mr Pickles has rejected a second appeal.

Cllr Bob Filmer, chairman of Sedgemoor District Council’s development committee, said: “This is really excellent news that the Pilrow Wind Farm appeal has been dismissed by both the planning inspector and the secretary of state, Eric Pickles. 

“Both fully endorsed Sedge-moor District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission because of the significant detrimental impact that it would have had on the landscape character, visual impact and the setting of Brent Knoll. 

“It shows that localism works; where you have a solid and robust local plan, inappropriate development can be refused and the inspectors and secretary of state will support locally acc-ountable councillors.”

Burnham MP Tessa Munt and County Cllr John Denbee backed the campaign as well as Conservative prospective MP James Heappey, who has been active in opposition to wind farms across the Somerset Levels and the Mendip Hills.

A spokesperson for Broadview Energy said: “Broadview is naturally disappointed by the decision.

Sedgemoor’s own planning policy identifies the importance of onshore wind farms being constructed within the district and yet despite three applications coming forward in zones the council has identified as having potential for wind energy development, the Pilrow site included, it has yet to approve one.

“We are currently digesting the decision and considering our options; however, it is likely that development at the Pilrow site will be discontinued and Somer-set’s wait for its first wind farm will go on.”

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