Hundreds of anti-wind farm protesters have arrived at Welshpool Livestock Mart for a special Powys council meeting calling for an immediate review of development policy.
The motion before them urges the Welsh Government to request a moratorium on all wind farm applications.
Two weeks ago First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said he wanted to see developments restricted. He has also called for powers to be devolved from Westminster to Wales.
The Technical Advice Note (Tan) 8 policy was introduced in 2005 as guidance on wind farms. It allows councils to decide on wind farms up to 50 megawatts in size.
All Powys councillors are being asked to meet and vote in Welshpool livestock mart today rather than at County Hall in Llandrindod Wells so more people can attend.
By lunch time today around 300 protesters were already on site to lobby the meeting . A vote is expected this afternoon.
“To offer an assurance of an upper limit, when that upper limit is the object of everybody’s hatred, is no consolation to anybody at all” said Neville Smith, Windfarm opponent.
Large screens have been erected for the hundreds who are expected to turn up to watch proceedings.
The policy saw the government in Cardiff establish seven Strategic Search Areas (SSAs) in Wales.The SSAs were devised to corral all wind farm development into specific areas, rather than allow turbines to be put up across Wales.
There is one area in the north and another in west Wales, two in the Heads of Valleys region and three in mid Wales.
Thousands of Montgomeryshire residents blame this policy for the 15 current wind farm applications in Powys.If all are approved, that would add more than 600 turbines to the 216 already there.
Following a demonstration outside the Senedd last month, Mr Jones announced an “upper limit” of turbines to be allowed in Tan 8 areas.
Retired barrister Neville Smith, who lives near Berriw, opposes the Tan 8 policy and says he is not comforted by the first minister’s announcement.
“I can see the chap is in trouble and I can see how he’s looking for some sort of breathing space,” he said.”But to offer an assurance of an upper limit, when that upper limit is the object of everybody’s hatred, is no consolation to anybody at all
.”Carwyn Jones’s statement was ineffective.”
Maria McCaffrey, Renewable UK’s chief executivesaid: “We had great hopes for it… essentially (it said) if you build a wind farm here you are going to get an easy passage through planning, and are likely of success… this has not happened.
“Does it get our vote? No. Is it going to work without comprehensive review? No.”
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