A controversial windfarm has been given the go-ahead amid allegations of voting irregularities and concerns over the costs of refusal.
A second development nearby was refused.
The applications for 29 turbines with a height of between 100 and 125 metres were laid before Denbighshire county councillors on Tuesday.
The two applications had both been turned down by the planning committee in January and were referred to full council after developers said they would appeal.
Potential costs to Denbighshire of defending such an appeal could lead to a rise in council tax and officers said the chances of success were low.
Speaking of the first site, near Llyn Brenig at Nantglyn, one officer told members: “The cost of turning this down concerns me.
“We in this council have to worry about the council tax and it could cost us £500,000 if this goes to appeal. That’s the equivalent of 1.6% on council tax.”
The costs were broken down as employing a range of independent experts and consultants and the possibility that if Denbighshire lost they could also be forced to pay costs for the developers.
Cllr Bob Barton proposed refusing the application on a range of grounds, including impact on the landscape, the amenity of local residents and biodiversity.
And Cllr Paul Marfleet pointed out the strength of local feeling against development.
“Five community councils have rejected this application and the planning committee voted 19 to four against it.”
Members called for a recorded vote on the issue but were told by clerk Ian Hearle that not enough members were in favour of it.
This was later found out to be incorrect.
The application for Llyn Brenig was approved by members in an unrecorded vote of 18 for, 16 against, with two abstentions.
The second application, for 13 wind turbines at the nearby Gorsedd Bran, was defeated on the grounds of noise, flooding and landscape amenity, in a recorded vote of 22 against, 12 for and two abstentions.
Protesters carrying placards were demonstrating before the meeting and spectators were told off by the chair for making too much noise and disrupting proceedings.
By David Rutland
29 February 2008
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