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Europe brought into row over windfarm  

European Union officials yesterday stepped into the row over controversial plans for a new North Wales offshore windfarm.

The European Commission is to investigate claims made by environmentalists opposed to the 30 planned Rhyl Flats turbines.

Yesterday, Save Our Scenery campaigners urged local politicians to lobby the Government and delay the development until after the EC assessment.

A letter to the protestors confirmed it will be undertaken by officials from the commission’s infringements department.

SOS wants the Rhyl Flats scheme, which has been given the green light, scrapped.

It claims the consultation phase was too short and the term “Rhyl Flats” is misleading as it will be built in the Constable Bank area, near Rhos-on-Sea.

SOS also claims the environmental and economic impact assessment of the scheme was totally inadequate.

But npower renewables, which bought the project from Celtic Offshore Wind Ltd, said all procedures were adhered to correctly.

And they said the Government had already rubber-stamped the scheme.

Work is due to start next year.

SOS chairman John Lawson-Reay said last night: “For the past two years, SOS has been steadily working to inform people of the threat that these windfarms pose to our community.

“We will ensure that the European Commission is made aware of this local community’s concerns regarding the potential environmental impact of massive and unprecedented engineering works in our bays in the vicinity of the Constable Bank.”

Mr Lawson-Reay urged residents and businesses to write to the European Commission to express their concerns.

“At last our concerns about dubious planning processes and threats to the Constable Bank will be heard,” he said.

Local guest house owner and SOS member Janet Haworth said: “A falling-off in the popularity of Llandudno with visitors will affect local jobs and local tradespeople, as well as those directly involved in the tourism industry.”

But an npower renewables spokeswoman said: “We are confident that all procedures were correctly adhered to.

“In all our documentation we have made clear the exact destination of the Rhyl Flats site at Constable Bank.

“Changing the name could have caused more confusion, with people assuming there was a new site.

“Consent for this project was given by the Government.”

by Steve Bagnall, Daily Post

Dec 6 2006

icnorthwales

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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