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Caernarfon Airport fears over wind turbine bid  

Credit:  by Eryl Crump, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, www.caernarfonherald.co.uk 21 October 2010 ~~

Gwynedd’s only airport will have to shut its main runway if plans to build 150ft wind turbines are approved.

Directors at Caernarfon Airport have applied to erect two massive wind turbines, capable of generating enough electricity for 1,000 homes.

Documents enclosed with the application reveal plans have been drawn up for a total of 14 wind turbines.

Pilots have condemned the plan claiming the airport is the only civilian airfield in the region which provides full refuelling services for light aircraft.

They also fear the turbines could pose a hazard to aircraft and describe the closure of the main 3,500ft runway, as “crazy”.

One flier said: “Not only is Caernarfon one of the most popular used and beautiful airfields in North Wales it is also the only refuelling location in the area because the flying club at RAF Mona does not stock fuel any longer.

“I think the microlight guys have had it, as the turbulence from these things could cause them serious problems. It’s a crazy plan.”

The airport is home to a flying school and an air museum and is used by light aircraft, helicopters and microlights.

The airport is also home to the North Wales Air Ambulance.

The application states: “Proposals have been put forward to Gwynedd Council and a scoping opinion has been issued on the basis of putting in a planning application for 14 250kw turbines measuring a total of 45m with seven placed either side of the 02/20 runway at Caernarfon Airport.

“After taking into account the opinion and the winter bird survey the application is to be made for only two wind turbines strategically placed to the east of the runway to give the minimum risk of bird collision.”

Director Roy Steptoe said: “Studies have concluded that wind turbines have a positive impact on tourism and only those sceptical about wind turbines will say otherwise.

“The local economy will benefit from additional tourists coming to see the wind turbines in operation. The installation will also preserve and hopefully create jobs at the airport.”

He said the application has been made to “safeguard” the future of the airport.

The development will help reduce the site’s carbon footprint, and an education and exhibition zone will be created.

If successful, the directors will fund interpretation boards for the RSPB highlighting nearby wildlife, and will start a community benefit fund.

A Gwynedd Council spokesman confirmed the application had been received and would be considered by officers in due course.

Mr Steptoe has issued an open invitation to anyone with questions about the development to contact him on (01286) 830800 before the end of the month.

Source:  by Eryl Crump, Caernarfon and Denbigh Herald, www.caernarfonherald.co.uk 21 October 2010

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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