A CONTROVERSIAL proposal for a windfarm to be built near Talgarreg has collapsed after Ceredigion planners rejected the application after nearly three hours of heated debate.
The development would have seen 10 wind turbines standing 100 metres high at Rhosygarn but members of the county council’s develop-ment committee rejected the scheme because they felt there were too many windfarms in Ceredigion.
They decided to refuse the application despite officers raising no objections and claims by the developers and landowners involved that it would benefit the local community.
Cllr Fred Williams said: “We have all done our bit for renewable energy and I think we must come to a stop.
“We have done enough for wind energy in Ceredigion I wonder if the government would accept wind turbines on the white cliffs of Dover.”
“If you look at the history of Wales we have paid too much already.
“Our water has been taken, our Valleys have been robbed of coal, big brother across the boarder has spoken too often.”
The planning committee were eager to point out their support for renewable energy but it seemed that the underlining argument was that Ceredigion’s wind energy potential has already been abused.
Cllr Meurig James said: “I am a great advocator of renewable energy. “Wind energy is just one way of producing renewable energy and with four wind farms already here there is no doubt that Ceredigion is leading the way.
“How much room is there for wind farms.
“Enough is enough, why should Caeredigion have to answer the pollution problem of the 21st century when our rural area is not at fault.”
Members of the local community were present at the meeting and one representative from local residents addressed the committee with con-cerns of noise pollution and visual implications.
Cllr James added: “The people of this area have made a democratic choice to reject this proposal.
“We have received 381 letters of complaint and 23 letters of approval for this proposal and that shows a democratic choice.
“It is important that we represent the public and remember that our policies are there to serve the public.”
A small number of councillors backed the development addressing the importance of sup-porting renewable energy but a recorded ballot saw the wind farm rejected with a seventeen votes to two against the development.
The company behind the scheme Renewable Energy Systems (RES) are already considering an appeal after the decision, which was made against the advice of planning officers and despite the fact that there were no statutory objections from official bodies. As a result RES have claimed that communities will lose out to the tune of at least £40,000 a year from money that could have been used to pull down further grants, so the actual loss could be far greater. It is also claimed that Ceredigion County Coun-cil itself will also lose at least £2 million in business rates.
RES’s project manager, David Cox said: “We are extremely disappointed because we are con-vinced that the wind farm at Rhos Garn, between Lampeter and Aberaeron, is an excellent proposal.
“We have been working on it with local farmers and have received widespread support from many parts of the community.”
“This is also a blow to the future of life in rural Wales.
“We believe that wind energy is one of the best ways for farmers to make new use of their land and find new sources of income, helping them to survive.”
by Sion Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd 21 September 06
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