Rock legend Robert Plant is backing a local residents’ campaign to prevent the largest windfarm in Wales being built outside Aberystwyth.
The famous singer from rock band Led Zeppelin attended the public exhibition in Furnace held by developers, Airtricity, on Wednesday over its highly-controversial plans to build up to 80 turbines on land near the Nant-y-Moch reservoir.
The company also needs to build wide access routes for the windpower plant through land near his home in the picturesque Artists Valley.
the land is needed so large vehicles can carry up to 80 wind turbines, each up to 145 metres high, to the proposed site on the Pumlumon Hills as part of the Welsh Assembly’s renewable energy initiative.
Mr Plant could not be contacted but protesters said he attended the meeting and joined them in opposing the plans which they say will devastate the landscape and have no significant effect on climate change or carbon emissions.
An anonymous resident who contacted the Cambrian News, said: “Mr Plant is deeply opposed to the whole project and in particular to the turbines being placed in land around the valley. He turned up during Wednesday’s exhibition where some heated discussion took place between him and the developers.”
They said Mr Plant was expected to attend a protest walk organised by the Cambrian Mountain Society on Saturday, 20 June where angry residents and environmental enthusiasts walked the route of the proposed site.
Although he did not make an appearance on the day, over 100 protesters were led around the resevoir by famous artists David Bellamy and Christine Lovelock.
Organisers said they are pleased to have backing from such well-known public figures to help their ongoing battle against the developers and to increase public support for their cause.
Ann West, chairman of the Cambrian Mountain society, said: “We are very pleased to have people like that on board and it is very important in getting us noticed on a larger scale.
“The protest was all about getting our voices heard and to show just what a vast area will be destroyed by his wind farm as well as to make people aware of the importance of preserving our countryside.”
Ross Easton, a spokesperson for Airtricity declined to comment on alleged discussions with Robert Plant over access routes or if a company representative was present at Saturday’s protest walk.
He said: “These public exhibitions are being staged in advance of a planning application being submitted and are designed to give people information about the project.
“Wind farm proposals are rightly subject to detailed scrutiny and the proposed Nant-y-Moch wind farm is no exception.
“There is however one fundamental point, the UK has a legal requirement to produce much, much more renewable energy than it currently does to safeguard security of supply and to tackle climate change.
“Nant y Moch is exactly the kind of project that will be needed if those legal targets are to be met and supplies of energy are to be safeguarded.”
Mr Plant was unavailable to comment.
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