A new proposal for a smaller windfarm off Llandudno’s shore has been criticised as an empty gesture by a local preservation group.
Energy company npower renewables have been conducting a series of studies and surveys looking at the effects of wind turbines on the natural and human environment around their Gwynt y Mor offshore windfarm development.
As a result, further design work has reduced the area where the turbines would be built by 20 per cent, which according to the renewable energy company would mean a significant reduction in the visual impact of the turbines at a number of viewpoints, including views from Conwy Mountain, the Great Orme and several locations along Llandudno promenade.
Dr Mark Legerton, Offshore Development Manager at npower renewables, said: “We appreciate that the visual impact of the wind farm is a concern for some, as such we have taken steps to reduce this significantly by making the area in which the turbines will be built 20 per cent smaller than was originally proposed.
“The decision makers should now have all of the information that they need to determine whether the project should be granted permission, and we hope that a decision will be made before the end of the year.”
npower renewables claim that the Gwynt y M’r windfarm would generate enough energy to power 500,000 homes for a year using its 200 turbines, and prevent the release of around two million tonnes of carbon dioxide – the main contributing gas to global warming.
But local anti-windfarm group Save Our Scenery (SOS) are not satisfied with the proposal.
Chairman of SOS, John Lawson-Reay, said: “The proposal to reduce the site is nothing more than a sop to people who are objecting against it. To clump them all together would look even worse – it’s nothing more than a gesture.”
With strong support for the preservation group across the North West, Mr Lawson-Reay believes that npower renewable’s updated proposal is a sign of concern by the energy company.
“One believes that this is a political move, and we would be quite happy to go to a public enquiry and demolish their application bit by bit,” said Mr Lawson-Reay.
“We are meeting with people from the Wirral soon who will suffer the sight of the windfarm. We may be a relatively small group, but if this can be turned into a genuine opposition, then politicians beware. The fight is still continuing.”
By David Waddington
8 August 2007
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