May 24, 2011
Blogs, Wales

Ghosts of Capel Celyn stirred as Scottish Power goes back to the sixties

To Hatch a Crow, 24 May 2011

If we can make a profit we’ll trash anywhere !

With the 50th anniversary of the controversial and highly sensitive Treweryn Valley flooding fast approaching,Scottish Power-one of the most voraciously profit driven and ecologically insensitive of all power companies-are pressing ahead with their plans to build a controversial 25 turbine wind farm virtually within the Snowdonia National Park and less than 6 miles from the now drowned Treweryn Valley.

The former scheme involved the destruction of the village of Capel Celyn and the forced removal of the Welsh speaking population from the village and surrounding farmsteads. A project which has since been proven to have been be an entirely pointless and unnecessary vanity project ( See The Drowning Season).

The Scottish Power project at Mynydd Mynyllod-a 1400′ peak 5 miles from Bala in Gwynedd- will exploit a particularly sensitive unspoiled upland area which is rich in wildlife and studded with ancient settlements,stone circles and archaeologically important cairns. Apart from more popular bird species such as buzzard and ravens,the site is within the ranging distance of nearby Peregrine Falcons. An iconic upland bird of which less than 1500 breeding pairs survive in the UK. Mountain hares and Pipestrelle bats are amongst other threatened species which inhabit the site.

The surrounding area is acknowledged as one of the most beautiful and diverse in north Wales. Rich in history and at the heart of Welsh culture, it is held in affection by both those who for whom it is their homeland and those who come to this part of north East Wales to walk the unspoiled ancient paths and tracks. Scottish Power’s plans to build wind turbines just short of 500′ high-some of the tallest turbines in Wales-is seen by most observers as breath taking in its insensitivity.
Particularly as the site lies at the heart of an extensive area of mountains ranges including the nearby Berwyns,Arans and Arenigs. Five years ago,Gwynedd planning department gave planning permission for three turbines at nearby Braich ty Ddu. A development which delivers a minuscule amount of wind generated energy but, sadly, has had a huge visual impact on the uplands hereabouts which can be witnessed up to 20 miles away! Given Gwynedd County planners ignorance in such technical and ecological matters,it is quite likely that once again, GCC will not have anything other than financial incentives promised by developers in mind when they come to dealing with planning consent next time around.

In common with all energy companies who seek to industrialise fragile upland sites in areas with scattered rural populations,Scottish Power are promising financial incentives (cynics call them bribes!) to local community councils. What price heritage…what price culture…what price conservation-those who appreciate the REAL value of these ancient places might ask ???
Watch this space !

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