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Windfarm safety risks highlighted: 49 page document strikes out at npower

After two months of work, protest group Save Our Scenery have produced a scathing report objecting to a proposed windfarm off the coast of Llandudno.

The 49 page document strikes out at npower renewables plans for the Gwynt y M’r windfarm development, highlighting major concerns for tourism, the devastating effects it will have on surrounding wildlife and birds, and even serious threats to boat safety.

Save Our Scenery (SOS) believe that the construction of 250 wind turbines close to shore at Llandudno, Rhos Point and Colwyn Bay could be potential obstacles for large ships en route to Liverpool Bay.

And even pleasure and fishing boats could be at risk with the possibility of the turbines interfering with radar equipment.

The report states: “500 foot high turbine blades would make it potentially hazardous for rescue helicopters to operate and lifeboats would need to manoeuvre in between hundreds of turbines, no doubt in rough seas. This would place the rescue services in imminent and unnecessary danger.”

The report also accuses npower of trying to mislead the public by using inaccurate representations of how the wind turbines appear from the shore.

Included in the report, Chairman of SOS, John Lawson-Reay, said: “It is evident that npower has realised that they had no prospect of coming up with any improvements to their original layouts and had attempted to disguise this fact by producing highly speculative scenarios and misleading montages.”

The document is intended to offer additional evidence in response to npower’s revised proposal released in August.

Local politicians who are also opposed to the development have commended the report and hope it will be taken into consideration.

David Jones MP for Clwyd West said: “This is an impressive piece of work. I shall be writing to the Minster giving my full support to this report which SOS has produced.”

Dr Mark Legerton, Offshore Development Manager for npower renewables, was unable to comment on the specifics of the report as he had not yet received a copy, but confirmed that he would take it into consideration.

He said: “Everybody has the right to express their opinions on the Gwynt y M’r offshore wind farm proposal. The purpose of the public consultation that has been undertaken both by ourselves, and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (DBERR), is to provide everyone who wishes to comment on the proposal an opportunity to do so, and have their views considered in the process of decision-making regarding a consent determination for the project.”

By David Waddington

North Wales Pioneer

17 October 2007

Save Our Scenery (SOS): saveourscenery.com