Wind farm decision pushed back two weeks

3.50pm. 07.12.07- THE decision on whether a controversial wind farm will be built near Brent Knoll has been delayed by at least a fortnight.

THE decision on whether a controversial wind farm will be built near Brent Knoll has been delayed by at least a fortnight.

The planning inspectorate told the Weston & Somerset Mercury this week that the final decision, which was due to be announced on November 23, could be another two or three weeks.

The decision is about plans to build five wind turbines at a farm off Stoddens Lane near the Somerset village.

The planning application was first refused by Sedgemoor District Council in August 2006 after a unanimous vote. The authority received 16 letters of support, 210 letters objecting to the scheme and petitions from campaigners kNOll to Wind Farm and employees of Northan Farm objecting to the scheme and signatures from Families for Clean Energy (FORCE) supporting the plans.

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Wind farm planners Next Generation, a subsidiary of renewable energy company Ecotricity, were told they had six months to appeal against the decision and announced it was appealing in December 2006.

An inquiry, which lasted 10 days, was held in August this year where planning inspector Robin Brookes heard representations from councils, protestors and planners.

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The proposals from Next Generation include five three-bladed wind turbines with a maximum height of 120m at Inner Farm, north of Stoddens Lane. The turbines would be expected to produce the annual electricity demand of 10,041 houses. A single wind turbine can prevent up to 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere each year.

The proposals also included an electricity sub-station, access tracks and improved vehicle access from Stoddens Lane to the site.

The nearest village is Brent Knoll, which is 600m north-east of the proposed site. Several residents of the village were present throughout the entire appeal and the 40 stalwarts were personally thanked by Mr Brookes at the close of the inquiry.

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