A petition with nearly 8,000 signatures demanding a 1.5km buffer zone around large wind turbines has been handed to Anglesey Council.
The proliferation in applications for wind turbines on the island has caused a public outcry with fears they will wreck views and damage tourism. A consultation on planning guidelines for the turbines ended yesterday.
Anglesey Against Wind Turbines (AAWT) launched a petition calling for the new rules to include the buffer zone and a total ban on commercial turbines in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
An incredible 7,850 people have signed the petition – more than 11% of the island population.
This was handed to council leader Bryan Owen and chief executive Richard Parry Jones yesterday.
The group says the separation distance would in effect prevent the further siting of industrial-size turbines on Anglesey.
Owain Evans, co-chairman of AAWT, said: “The petition is a massive achievement.
“It’s attracted support from every shade of opinion, and the result is absolutely fantastic.”
Mairede Thomas, of AAWT, said: “What’s acceptable to the community on Anglesey can’t be clearer. The council and its officers cannot afford to ignore what residents want.
“Residents don’t want planning guidelines loosened for wind turbines, if anything they want them tightened.
“The council has a duty to respect the wishes of its citizens where planning is concerned.”
Another campaigner Paul Madden said: “No-one wants the island to become a giant wind farm by default. Allow commercial turbines to be shoved up across the island and that’s what you’d get.”
Along with the petition is a letter requesting that it is heard by a full meeting of the Council.
The consultation into wind turbines has proposed a 10X rule, where for example a 30-metre turbine could not be within 300 metres of homes or tourist sites. But opponents say this is not enough and are demanding a 1,500-metre minimum buffer.
Chief Executive Richard Parry Jones said: “This is obviously a substantial petition which we will take into account as part of the consultation on the second draft of our Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Planning Guidance. It will now be submitted to the democratic process in an open and transparent manner.”
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