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Challenge to energy policy  

A huge public meeting to discuss the potential impact of wind farms across the Vale of Clwyd is being held tonight (Friday).

The event, which begins at Clawddnewydd’s community centre at 7.30pm, has been jointly arranged by the local community council and protest group Cynghrair Hiraethog Alliance (CHA) to scrutinise proposed developments across the local area.

The move comes after environment minister Jane Davidson refused to meet with the CHA to discuss their concerns regarding the Welsh Assembly’s TAN8 policy.

The document states that within a Strategic Search Area (SSA), of which Clocaenog Forest is one, the implicit aim is to accept wind farm developments in spite of physical changes to the countryside.

“We are absolutely staggered,” said Michael Williams, secretary of Cynghrair Hiraethog Alliance. “We first wrote to the minister in July and have been chasing ever since. Today, we finally heard that she would not meet with us.

“We believe it is time for the Welsh Assembly Government to call a halt to any further wind farm developments in Wales.

“It is time we looked at developing effective sources of renewable energy that will not impact so negatively on the people and the landscapes of Wales. We call again upon the minister to meet with us and to listen to our concerns.”

The open meeting tonight will update local residents on the number of wind farm schemes currently in development locally.

“Professor Peter Cobbald is doing a shortened updated version of where the situation is at and there will be an opportunity to ask questions,” said Mr Williams.

“Bearing in mind, there has been an application submitted for Derwydd Bach (10 turbines), and Nant Bach (13 turbines) is being determined at the moment, there should be quite a lot on the agenda.

“It’s expected there will be quite a large turnout.”

Denbighshire county councillor Paul Marfleet recently called upon environment minister Ms Davidson to withdraw from TAN8, claiming it had opened the floodgates to numerous developments across the region.

In a document copied to all 1,225 locally-elected county councillors AMs, MPs, chief planning officers and local authority chief executives across Wales, the Llanrhaeadr-yng-Nghinmeirch member asked that TAN8 be scrapped and an open review be conducted of all options for the development of renewable energy that do not concentrate exclusively on wind power.

Ms Davidson’s department has denied developers have received special treatment, or pressure has been applied on councils to approve windfarms.

By Matt Sims

The Vale Advertiser

5 October 2007

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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