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Wind farms approved and rejected  

Councillors have decided to approve one wind farm in Denbighshire, but turned down another one.

Both had previously been rejected, but the latest decision means a 16-turbine farm at Llyn Brenig, near Cerrigydrudion can now go ahead.

However, councillors upheld a previous rejection of a second proposal for Gorsedd Bran.

The council’s planning committee had rejected both projects in January after concerns were raised by residents.

The firm behind the rejected proposal, Tegni, had said it would appeal.

The BBC understands councillors backed the other proposal 18-16 in a closed vote.

Tegni’s plans for land near Nantglyn consisted of 13 turbines at a height of 125m (410ft).

The open vote saw 22 councillors oppose the plans, and 12 vote for them with 2 abstentions.

Councillors and council officials discussed the merits of Windpower Wales Ltd’s proposals to build the 100m (328ft) high turbines near Llyn Brenig for two hours.

Vincent Kane, chairman of Windpower Wales, said they were happy with the decision.

“Last week the Welsh Assembly Government set a target by 2025 that Wales could be self-sufficient,” he said.

“That’s very ambitious, but it’s a noble ambition. Today’s decision is a small but significant step towards it.”

Planners had been expected to approve both projects in January, but 18 out of 24 councillors had voted against the proposals because of fears over 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.

The council’s head of planning warned in a report before Tuesday’s vote that there could be a cost to Denbighshire taxpayers if the plans had been rejected again.

The report 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 was pursued.

As councillors arrived for the vote at council offices in Ruthin, a number of anti-wind farm protestors had gathered with placards outside.

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

Before the vote, local resident Emyr Pierce, who supports wind farms, argued that those opposed to the plans had not offered an alternative.

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

“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.”

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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