Wind farm opponents warned yesterday that the rural landscape in Wales will be dominated by development on an industrial scale.
Critics of the Welsh Government’s energy policy said that an environment worth an estimated £8.8bn to the economy would be put at risk as tourism suffered.
Anti-wind farm protesters from mid Wales set out their fears to an inquiry by AMs on the environment and sustainability committee.
They are vehemently opposed to the policy, known as TAN 8, in which areas of the Welsh countryside are designated for possible development.
There are already about 200 wind turbines in parts of Powys and reports that a further 600 could be in the pipeline.
Communities are also furious over plans for a new 19-acre electricity sub station and network of power lines to transfer wind energy to the National Grid.
The Shropshire and Mid Wales Alliance group warned of a determined legal challenge: “If current intransigence persists in Cardiff the only result will be a plague of litigation stretching down over the years.”
Neville Thomas, QC on behalf of the group, argued that the Welsh Government was unaware of the potential impact of development when it drew up its TAN 8 planning guidance in 2005.
“This was the usual panic reaction to global warming. The trouble is it was unconsidered.”
The QC said that if the policy were enacted developments would stretch from north of Rhayader to the edge of Snowdonia and from the English border to the Welsh coast.
“There would be no high ground on which you could stand without being confronted by a vista of turbines and pylons.”
The scale would dominate the 130 miles of the Glyndr Trail, he said.
Peter Ogden, from the Campaign for Protection of Rural Wales said: “Wales is being suffocated by an industrial scale of wind turbines to provide electricity for the south east of England.
“Turbines, transmission lines will completely spoil the character and we will see the death knell of the tourist industry in mid Wales.”
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