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Wind farm plans face crucial vote  

A decision by planners to reject proposals for two wind farms in Denbighshire could be overturned by councillors.

Planners had been expected to approve the projects at Llyn Brenig, near Cerrigydrudion, Conwy and at Gorsedd Bran in Clocaenog Forest in January.

But 18 out of 24 councillors voted against the proposals.

However, if the plans are rejected again, two firms behind them are expected to appeal and may win costs.

Tegni Cymru Cyf wants to build 13 wind turbine generators at Gorsedd Bran while Windpower Wales Ltd wants to build 16 at Llyn Brenig.

Each of the turbines will be more than 100m (328ft) high.

A wind farm with 25 turbines already operates in the Clocaenog Forest.

Some of the reasons given for the refusal in January included the risk of flooding due to deforestation in the Clocaenog forest.

Councillors were also concerned about the impact on a nearby area of outstanding natural beauty, noise levels and the potential impact on tourism and local economy.

Denbighshire’s 45 councillors will be able to vote on overturning the planning committee’s decision or rejecting both proposals again.

But there could be a cost to Denbighshire taxpayers if both are rejected, according to a report by the head of planning.

It said there was a “significant risk” of costs being awarded against the council if a refusal on any of the grounds identified by the planning committee is pursued.

Eryl Vaughan, managing director of Windpower Wales Ltd, said it would appeal if its plans were rejected, and request that costs be awarded.

Local resident Emyr Pierce supports wind farms and argued that those opposed to the plans had not offered an alternative.

“It is an efficient way of generating clean energy,” he said.

‘Nauseous’

“I have lived here for 70-odd years without them and three years with them and they have not made the slightest bit of difference to me.”

Mr Pierce already benefits from the existing Tir Mostyn wind farm as his land is being accessed to allow owners Manweb reach their turbines.

But fellow resident John Morgan said the action of the existing turbines made him feel nauseous and any new farms would have a “disastrous” affect on the area visually and ecologically.

“Three to four thousand tonnes of concrete will be poured into the bases, where is the water going to go?” he said.

“We have already had flooding in the valleys.”

Mr Morgan, a retired teacher, said he had been to meetings about the plans where 90% of the 200 people there had been against the wind farms.

“The councillors and the planning committee have already made a decision. If the full council overturns the decision then local democracy is not there any more,” he said.

“The views of local people have not been listened to.”

BBC News

26 February 2008

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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