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Public opinion wanted on wind turbines in Gwynedd

Public opinion on wind turbines is being sought by Gwynedd Council, as the authority seeks to form a new policy on how to deal with them.

A consultation process has been launched, giving the county’s residents the opportunity to have their input on the authority’s draft supplementary planning guidance on wind turbines.

When adopted in its final form, the guidance will support the relevant policy included in the Gwynedd Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

Last month, the Herald reported that pressure group Cyfeillion Lln expressed concern that the council’s policy on wind turbines was ‘muddled’ – urging the authority to implement a new policy on the issue.

Their call was for a policy that restricted any turbine higher than 11 metres to be located within sight of the designated Lln Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and 15 metres in the rest of Gwynedd.

During a recent meeting of the Communities Scrutiny Committee, it emerged that the authority does not have a specific policy on wind farm applications.

While many plans for turbines have been presented on the Lln Peninsula and Dwyfor during the past 12 months, there has been a rise in their numbers across Gwynedd as a whole.

People have until January 31 to present comments as part of the statutory consultation.

Gwynedd Council’s cabinet member for planning, Councillor John Wyn Williams, said: “The draft guidance on onshore wind energy considers a number of factors regarding this important area – including planning policy context, development management issues, the importance of discussions and engagement with local communities.

“This is an area which is becoming ever more prominent over the year, and I would encourage members of the public to participate in the consultation so that we can consider every comment carefully as we move forward to draw-up the final guidance.”

Copies of the consultation documents are available for people to view from Monday to Friday (9am to 5pm) at the council’s headquarters in Caernarfon and the offices in Pwllheli. Copies will also be available in Gwynedd public libraries.

For more information, visit www.gwynedd.gov.uk/consultations