An appeal against Ceredigion council’s decision to scrap plans for a controversial wind farm at Rhos Garn Whilgarn has been thrown out.Planning inspector Stuart Wild dismissed the appeal by RES Developments after concluding that renewable energy benefits generated by the proposed wind farm would not outweigh potential harm on the area’s character and appearance and the amenity of local residents.
The decision follows a three-day inquiry into the proposed 10-turbine wind farm and site visits made by Mr Wild.
Residents who have spent years fighting the development, close to Talgarreg, were in jubilant mood after being notified of the appeal’s failure.
“There’s a huge sense of relief,” said Pauline Day. “It’s like we’ve been on trial for four years and we’ve been acquitted. Everything has had to stop, more or less, but now we can pick up our lives again.”
Mrs Day’s husband Robin is mentioned in the inspector’s report. It points out that Mr Day, who is blind, would live 799 metres from the nearest 328ft turbine. His amenity and ability to move around his property, it says, would be disturbed and he would have difficulty selling his Talgarreg property.
“We would have had 25 years of misery if it had gone ahead, and we couldn’t plan for the future at all,” said Mr Day.
Talgarreg farmer Doreen Jones said: “We’re just delighted and very relieved with the decision – it’s been a long four years.”
In a statement, David Cox, RES project manager for Rhos Garn, said: “We are disappointed and surprised at the decision by Planning Inspectorate Wales to turn down the Rhos Garn wind farm proposal. This was a sensitively-designed, low-impact, locally supported project that would have helped Wales meet its renewable energy targets and brought economic benefits.”
Ceredigion’s MP Mark Williams welcomed the Planning Inspectorate’s decision. He said strength of local community opposition had been recognised and added that it was a victory for common sense.
RES launched its appeal after Ceredigion Council’s development control committee turned down its proposal in September 2006.
13 February 2008
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