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Llanelian wind farm plans ‘could break planning law’  

Credit:  by Richard Evans, North Wales Weekly News, www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk 28 July 2011 ~~

Plans for two 170ft high wind turbines at a natural beauty spot could break planning law, says Colwyn Bay Town Council.

Residents in Llanelian are enraged over the plans by developers Bryn-y-Gwynt Ltd who want to submit plans to erect two turbines on Glyn Farm.

A renewable energy college linked to Coleg Llandrillo is also planned at the site.

But Colwyn Bay Town Council objected to the plans at a committee meeting earlier this week and has requested that any decision is put before Conwy’s own planning committee, as opposed to being decided on delegated authority by officers.

At the meeting at Colwyn Bay Town Hall on Rhiw Road on Tuesday, councillors argued the plans were contrary to the Colwyn Borough Local Plan, which governs planning.

Conwy’s new Local Development Plan is yet to be completed and agreed.

Under the plan the Glyn Farm area is protected as a special landscape area.

Cllr Paul Richards believed the plans were contrary to current planning policy.

“It is contrary to the old Colwyn borough plan which states it is a special landscape area,” he said.

“The plan says the area is of value and that development in that area should not go against the nature of the landscape.

“Most residents on the Glyn Estate I’ve spoken to are against it.”

Cllr Richards also argues a feasibility study included as part of the plans into the potential impact on wildlife was poorly timed. He argued the study was conducted in February, when many migratory birds have left the shores.

Building work to the site could start in the autumn if Conwy’s planning committee gives the project the green light.

The turbines will feature three 225kw fibreglass blades and are 95ft in diameter.

The meeting at Colwyn Bay Town Council follows several community meetings in Llanelian, one of which last week was so packed it was moved from the White Lion pub to the larger church.

Resident Tegwyn Hughes said feelings were strong in the village.

“We had a fantastic meeting at the church, there were 100 people there,” he said.

“It was supposed to be held at the White Lion pub but due to the amount of people we had to move to the church.

“People are very concerned up here how this will affect the village. There were also people from the Upper Colwyn Bay area.

“It is a beautiful area, people are concerned about the Nant-y-Glyn Valley. People are worried more wind farms could follow if this goes through. We are afraid the area could be ruined. It is a beautiful green wedge. Everyone is opposed to the plans.”

Richard Rees is a rural surveyor with Bryn Y Gwynt and attended the church meeting.

“I was pleased to have attended a community meeting and to speak to local residents about the proposed scheme,” he said.

“Planning law clearly defines this proposal as a community scheme and I hope my presence at this meeting reassured the community that I am a young, local farmer’s son and that the benefits of the scheme will be kept within North Wales and therefore there is a great difference between this proposal and a large scale multinational development, such as that out to sea.

“I have received many letters of support for this proposal over the last week and I am pleased there are other people within the community who share my desire to create a sustainable community.”

Mr Rees also reassured residents a large scale project was not on the cards.

“The planning policy for Conwy states that the maximum number of wind turbines that could be erected is three,” he said.

Source:  by Richard Evans, North Wales Weekly News, www.northwalesweeklynews.co.uk 28 July 2011

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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