Wind farm opponents fear giant turbines will slowly colonise an Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
It follows approval for an on-farm turbine at Marian Mawr, Cwm, Dyserth, which was voted through with a big majority by Denbighshire Council’s planning committee last week.
Aled Morris, who runs a 300-head dairy herd, argued the turbine was essential for the farm’s viability and would dramatically cut its carbon footprint.
Denbighshire planning officers had recommended refusal and local residents believe the scheme will spoil the Clwydian Range AONB and have a divisive impact on the village of Cwm.
Writing on Facebook, Vic Creedy accused councillors of having “no regard for tourism”, and said the decision would “ruin and dismantle” the AONB.
Responding to criticism, Cllr Huw Williams, of Llanbedr DC, said people had to understand that farmland was “not a playground”.
“It is a place where people live and work to produce the food we all need.
“I would not like to see hundreds of turbines littering the countryside but individual schemes, in the right location, can play an important role in ensuring the viability of the countryside.”
There are all ready two turbines in the AONB and the CCW had argued that allowing one at Cwm would set a precedent, leading to “turbine creep”.
The CCW was backed by the council’s own landscape consultant as well as the AONB joint advisory committee, which claimed the turbine would be a “discordant and alien feature” in the landscape.
It suggested Mr Morris use outbuildings to install solar panels instead.
The proposed 50kw Endurance turbine would have an estimated payback time of seven to nine years. Electricity would be fed to the National Grid and the receipts used to offset the £19,000 annual bill at Marian Mawr’s dairy unit.
Mr Morris, 35, said: “With uncertainty over Single Farm Payments, along with rising energy costs, we needed to safeguard the business.
“With margins always under pressure in dairy farming, cutting our costs – and our carbon footprint – is something we needed to do to ensure we stayed within the sector.”
The turbine, rejected last year as being a threat to the AONB, has been relocated by Mr Morris to minimise its visual impact – at the expense of operating efficiency.
But as it lies just 700m from the Offa’s Dyke National Trail, critics have railed against the potential effect on tourism.
On Facebook, Montgomeryshire Against Turbines said: “The many thousands of visitors do not come here to see landscapes bristling with towering turbines.”
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