14 Oct 13

EDF Energy Renewables to hold exhibitions on its re-application for Withy End wind farm

EDF Energy Renewables has confirmed that it is to re-submit its planning application to Sedgemoor District Council for a proposed wind farm development near Puriton, in Somerset and will hold further public exhibitions to re-consult local people on its plans.

In April 2012, the Council’s planning committee turned down EDF Energy Renewables’ application for a five turbine wind farm on agricultural land situated north of the village of Puriton, immediately south of the Huntspill River.

The Council's decision was taken largely on the basis of concerns relating to the impact of the scheme in landscape and visual terms, and its impact on ecology and ornithology.

The decision to turn down the application was also made despite a recommendation for approval from the Council’s own Planning Officer.

Over the last year EDF Energy Renewables has undertaken additional ecological and ornithological surveys and further assessment work considering the landscape effects of the proposed wind farm has also been completed.

The ongoing public consultation process is designed to allow local residents and stakeholders to provide feedback on the plans. The feedback will be used to finalise the Environmental Impact Assessment which will accompany the planning application for the wind farm.

EDF Energy Renewables intend to re-submit a planning application for the project, incorporating this additional work, following the re-consultation.

Dennis Garry, Onshore Wind Development Manager, EDF Energy Renewables said:

“After due consideration and a review of the Council’s decision to turn down planning permission of the Withy End scheme, we have decided to slightly revise our application and to carry out additional environmental investigations to answer certain specific points raised by the Council’s planning committee.

“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 people might have. I would encourage as many people as possible to come to our exhibitions and meet with us to discuss the project.

“We continue to believe the Withy End 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.

“If approved, the Withy End wind farm would contribute to the generation of low carbon electricity in Somerset, will help meet government renewable energy targets and the country’s future energy supply needs.”

The exhibitions will take place on:

Wednesday 23rd October - 11:00am - 8:00pm at Woolavington Village Hall, Woolavington, Somerset, TA7 8DY, and

Thursday 24th October – 11:00am– 05:30pm at East Huntspill Village Hall, Church Road, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 3PQ

Ahead of making its original planning application, EDF Energy Renewables revised its proposal for the scheme following the results of environmental surveys and after consulting with local residents.

The revisions included a reduction in the number of turbines from nine down to five 2MW units.

The new application is again for five turbines and EDF Energy Renewables considers the number and size of turbines an appropriate balance between the need for renewable energy generation and wider environmental considerations.

If the local council grants planning permission, it is expected that the wind farm would be operational in 2015.

The revised proposal will be capable of producing enough low carbon electricity to meet the annual requirements of approximately 5,300 homes.*


*based upon information sourced from Digest of UK Energy Statistics and Department of Energy and Climate Change.