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Petition to stop wind farm work

Tourism bosses, councillors and action groups have joined together to ask the Welsh Assembly to intervene to stop work on the controversial Rhyl Flats wind farm project.

On Monday, Llandudno’s mayor Alun Barrett presented a petition to Assembly Member Gareth Jones calling for the immediate cessation of work on the Constable Bank off Llandudno’s North Shore (pictured).

They claim the dumping of thousands of tonnes of rock on the sea bed in readiness for the construction of the wind turbines, could create an environmental disaster for this area of the sea bed.

“The licence was granted by the Department of Trade and Industry but we assert that this issue should be dealt with by the National Assembly under the extended powers recently granted to the Assembly.

“The Assembly should be charged with requesting planning control powers over all wind farm developments, both on and off-shore, in order that the people of Wales have control over developments which impact on their communities.

“We are calling upon the Assembly to seek ways to halt any further damage to the Constable Bank. We believe that the evidence presented by the developers regarding the potential environmental and economic and social impacts of their plans offers insufficient guarantees to this local community,” says a statement issued on behalf of the protestors.

The petition has been signed by Alun Barrett on behalf of Llandudno Town Council; David Williams, chairman of the Hospitality Association; representatives of Rhos-on-Sea and Craigside Residents’ Associations and of protest groups Save Our Promenade and Save Our Scenery.

“There has been a grave planning blunder in the decision to grant a licence to construct this offshore wind farm which needs to be rectified,” said Janet Howarth of Save Our Scenery.

The protestors claim planning permission for Rhyl Flats was granted in haste and this gave rise to insufficient consideration being given to the potential impact the project would have on the marine environment, and the detrimental impact on the tourism business of North Wales leading to a downturn in the local economy by what they claim is the industrialisation of an area of natural beauty.

by Judith Phillips

North Wales Weekly News

30 August 2007